AFWM is a nonprofit organization that provides education, awarenesss and support regarding HIV/AIDS
The mission of the AIDS Foundation of Western Massachusetts, In.c (AFWM) is to create postivie community impact through innovative and empowering education and support in Hampden and Hampshire counties. The ultimate aim is to end the spread of HIV/AIDS. Principles
The AFWM provide financial support to individuals living with HIV/AIDS while experiencing financial hardship. We provide only to those who have exhausted other forms of financial assistance, such as payment plans, property owner negotiations, and extended credits.
Since its inception in 1993, AFWM has provided well over $700,000 of support to local community members living with HIV/AIDS in Hampden and Hampshire counties. Each year the foundation distributes over $50,000 in grants of 100 people. The support has provided funds to pay overdue rent and utilities, to cover car repairs and purchase furniture, and to help children with summer camperships in order to provide a meaningful childhood experience away from the turmoil that HIV/AIDS can often mean for children and families. We give the grants anonymously and directly to the provider of the utilities, rent, furniture, or camp. Again, dignity can be defined in many ways and the foundation continues to be a beacon of hope when options are slim.
In addition to ours grants program, we host the AIDS kNOw More Project who educate their peers about HIV/AIDS in order to prevent HIV transmission and decrease the stigma and myths associated with the virus. The mission of the AIDS kNOw More Project is to empower and educate communities regarding HIV/AIDS, and make a positive community impact and be there to support those infected or affected by HIV/AIDS. With the guidance of caring adults, this diverse group of youth ages 12-25 educate themselves about HIV/AIDS so that they can educate others in their communities through workshops, table fairs, and informal conversations.
"Living Positive" is a support group for men living with HIV. This is a safe, supportive environment for men living with HIV/AIDS to diuss their experiences and concerns, and share support. In addition to providing support, Living Positive also invites guest speakers to address issues that men living with HIV/AIDS face on a daily basis. Attendees and speakers follow strict confidentiality guidelines. Each member's privay is of the utmost importance.
The foundation is committed to being a beacon of hope when circumstances demand that someone needs financial assistance. We remain dedicated to the task of further supporting our HIV positive neighbors as they live their lives, and of supporting our negative neighbors to remain that way. The AIDS Foundation is commited to remain in western Massachusetts as long as we are needed. We hope that we will have the joy of outliving our usefulness.