Today, Desert AIDS Project marks its 33rd year providing compassionate care to the Coachella Valley. A lot has changed since 1984 when a group of volunteers got together to respond to the emerging AIDS crisis that others were ignoring. In 1984, when public agencies and health care systems were slow to respond, D.A.P.’s founders, a group of grass roots activists, heeded a call to action as they watched their friends, loved ones, and members of our community suffering and dying. They created a ‘community in action’ roadmap that D.A.P. still uses when we respond to new needs and open our doors wider to invite new underserved community members into care.
Today, Desert AIDS Project is one of the largest, most comprehensive AIDS Service organizations serving the Inland Empire region of Southern California. Advancing our mission to enhance and promote the health and well-being of our community, D.A.P. continually evolves its services and programs to meet the changing needs of the people we serve.
I was reminded, in a very personal way, yesterday about the people we served. I received a message from a D.A.P. client named Jerry. I said hello to him as he waited for a routine blood test. His note to me later that day said simply “It was good to see you. Seeing you relaxed me. I always get so scared when I go to a medical appointment.”
Much has changed in 33 years, but the emotions felt by people we serve remain the same. They worry about whether they will receive the care they need to remain well. They worry about the results of blood tests. And they worry about how they will be treated.
D.A.P.’s employees and supporters are humanitarians engaged in the important work of providing compassionate care. To honor our shared humanitarian work and Desert AIDS Project’s thirty-fourth anniversary, I’ve made a contribution of $33 to help fund client services at D.A.P. Will you consider joining me and do the same today?
Until there’s a cure…. and beyond,
Chief Executive Officer, Desert AIDS Project