Poz Cafe is a monthly lunch for people living with HIV, an opportunity for them to get out of the house, take a break, meet other positive people, and enjoy great food. The program is sponsored by Tucson Interfaith HIV/AIDS Network (TIHAN). The following is a thank you message from TIHAN Program Manager, Deirdre Demers, to St. Frances Cabrini parishioners and other volunteers who helped with their January Poz Cafe:
Thank you all for helping to make the January Poz Café a great success!
FAITH IN ACTION
With support from last month’s generous faith communities and sponsoring groups, we served 138 people at the January Poz Café luncheon. This includes the largest number of TIHAN CarePartners living with HIV that we have ever hosted at a January Poz Café, as well as their guests, the sponsoring group volunteers, and TIHAN volunteers and staff.
The January Lunch Menu Featured:
Italian Chopped Salad
Garlic and Herb Bread
Vegetarian entrée: Eggplant Parmesan
Angel Hair Pasta with Marinara Sauce
Roasted Winter Vegetables
Thanks to Chef John, the volunteer kitchen crew, and our friends from Amity Foundation for a great meal!
Highlights from January Poz Café:
- We distributed 72 CarePackages to CarePartners living with HIV. These decorated bags were filled with toiletry and cleaning items, all of which were donated by this month’s sponsoring groups.
- Many CarePartners received generously donated prizes by winning a raffle or a round of BINGO.
- The January sponsoring groups brought 15 volunteers to help at Poz Café. Thank you all for your willingness to help! Our regular TIHAN volunteers helped to guide these volunteers in an experience of learning and serving.
- And of course we can’t forget the hugs and the safe space that you help create at Poz Café every month. This important element enables our CarePartners to meet others living with HIV, enhance their social support, and know that there are caring people from faith communities and other community groups who welcome them and are working to end the stigma that still exists.
Special thanks to this month’s Poz Café coordinators:
- Kelsey & Ed Farrell from St. Frances Cabrini Catholic Church
- Jill Rich from Temple Emanu-El
- Laura Stehle from Our Mother of Sorrows Catholic Church
These individuals put many hours of effort into planning, shopping for food, collecting CarePackage items and prizes for bingo and raffles, and recruiting volunteers.
A special thank-you also goes out to the clergy in attendance at Poz Café:
Rabbi Batsheva Appel from Temple Emanu-El
Father Tom Quirk from Our Mother of Sorrows Catholic Church
Retired Father Bill Remmel from the Catholic community in Tucson
Thank you for being a part of this day of service, and for showing your support of TIHAN and Poz Café!
Thank you to the Poz Café Education Hour speakers:
Linda gave us an overview and history of TIHAN and Poz Café, and guidance on the important subject of confidentiality. Sharon presented HIV 101 to provide a basic understanding of the virus. Darrin shared his personal story of living with HIV.
We hope the Education Hour leaves you with improved knowledge and confidence to be able to outreach within your communities and continue the mission of decreasing the stigma of those living with HIV. If at any time you would like more information about HIV or related issues, please contact us and we would be happy to help.To all of this month’s volunteers, your presence at the event was valued by all of us – and most importantly, by the CarePartners who received your hugs, handshakes, smiles, and support.
Thanks again for your support of Poz Café, and for making so much possible through TIHAN!