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As an issue that is closely connected to me, I had always wanted to volunteer to assist AIDS victims and survivors. Before i had even enrolled in Living Skills, a friend had contacted me about an opportunity to participate in an upcoming Relay for Life event being hosted on the Paly track. and I accepted immediately. The relay took place over 24 hours, 8 to 8, among other services and activities teams of fun raiserser were to walk along the trackball day and all night, with the slogan ”AIDS never sleeps, so neither can we.
” To the event, there were several before and after tasks that needed to be done, that l, with the help of other team members, completed Before the event, we made approximately 250+ baked goods to be sold during the actual relay, so people could buy snacks as they did their laps on the tracks. Arriving at the track at 6am, our team help set up various equipment/decorations across the field, such as fundraising tents, a stage for guest speakers, as well as things like candles across the entire track and bleachers for nighttime During the relay itself, I walked for a cumulative of around 10 hours on the track day and night.
Team members were to not eat/drink (except for water) or leave the track at all, and most importantly not to sleep. Relay for Life was an eye-opening experience for me, even though I had known someone struggling with the virus personally. Through the duration of the event family members of victims or victims themselves would speak about their experiences and how difficult life was to them.
They talked about how they needed the support of their loved ones, friends, and doctors whom they met throughout the process.
There were also survivors who spoke,talking about their overcoming of the virus, and their struggle and effort that went into beating it, Hearing about so many other people’s experiences really taught me more about the actual day to day lives of the people closely connected to AIDS. As my personal experience with the virus is depressing and hopeless, I learned about people who were able to live with it comfortably, as well as people who could beat the virus. With my personal experience, it was too difficult for him to beatAlDS, and it was only worse that he lacked the friend and family support that is not necessarily needed. but incredibly helpful in the process. I wish my friend could have been at the relay to hear their stories but he unfortunately lives on the other side of the country. I really learned about how AIDS is different for everybody, how some will be destroyed by it and some will just brush it off, and it is honestly a huge mystery to me. I also learned about all the studies that are going towards AIDS prevention, treatment and finally cure. I would hope to continue participating in the Relay for Life for years to come, and l was very lucky that the community came to me, instead of vice-versa. I met people from around California and even out of state who cam all the way to Paly for the event, and it helped me broaden my thinking. There were people of all age groups and ethnicities, and such a mind blowing experience will have me coming back to them hopefully each year. Having such a good experience with community sen/ice, I may actually go for the presidents award, the 100 hour achievement, and branch out to different forms of it, like service to the elderly or for the environment.
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