Today is World AIDS Day!

1 Dec

aids ribbon

“As a young girl, I ran away from home because I was abused. I found myself sleeping in cars, behind buildings, wherever I could find. I ran away from something awful and ran right smack into something else: addiction. I was sick. I had all of these symptoms. I was 86 pounds. I was disoriented. But, I didn’t care about myself.

Thank God, one day, someone asked me if I was okay. I didn’t know where or who I was or anything. I was taken to the hospital, and that’s when I found out I had HIV. I didn’t know how long I had it. When they told me, I just about died.”

— Dorothy

 

I first met Dorothy in 2004. One of our BABES brought her to our support group. Then she disappeared for a while,  but she eventually came back – and it was whole new Dorothy. She used to make fun of me about my “big butt” 
 (hey, it’s not that big!), but now she was gaining weight. And we teased each other about that, laughing our way 
 to a real and lasting friendship. Watching her return to health has been one of the highlights of my time with 
 the BABES Network.

 

Your support of YWCA’s BABES Network means a lot to women like Dorothy. Thanks to you, she isn’t facing  life with HIV alone.

 

“Sure, I still cry sometimes. I feel down. I don’t want to get out of bed or go outside. Most people don’t know what I feel or what I’m going through, but my BABES network does. These women are really in my heart. They accept me for who I am. They always have time for me. They go to doctors’ appointments with me. They come see me, and that makes me feel good about myself — that I can keep moving.”

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BABES is the only program of its kind in our community, ensuring that women living with HIV and their families 
 are connected to a strong network of friends, advocates, and healthcare providers. Each December, we ask you 
 to commemorate World AIDS Day on December 1st by wearing a red ribbon and investing in BABES like Dorothy.

 

You have answered our call in the past. We need you, more than ever, to answer this call again.  Your gifts turn despair into resolve for the women who find their way to BABES, reminding each woman living with HIV that she can still fall in love, create lasting friendships, be a mentor to other women, have a career, and be a pillar 
 of our shared community.

 

“Today, I love to babysit my two-year-old grandson. He can say his abc’s. He can count. I’ll read to him and he’ll grab that book, hold it upside down and “read” to me. I don’t know what he’s saying, but he does. He’s my pride and joy. I’m so grateful that I can be there for him. I may eventually tell him my story, but it will be just that to him: a story about his grandma that he’ll barely be able to believe because, years ago, a network of women believed in me.”

Thank you for believing in Dorothy. Thank you for believing in BABES!

 

Warmest wishes,

Nicole Price

P.S. Please use the enclosed envelope to make your gift today, or you can donate at www.ywcaworks.org/donate.

Be sure to designate BABES as the recipient, and thank you for your support!

Annual Harvest Dinner!

4 Nov

Annual Harvest Dinner
Thursday November, 17th
6-8pm
YWCA Multipurpose Room

thanksgiving

Laury McKean, RN will come and talk with us about Treatment Evolution and then we will have a Q and A session.

We will have a full thanksgiving style meal and invite you to bring a guest with you to learn more about HIV.

Please RSVP to 206-720-5566 or the_staff@babesnetwork.org

Thank you to Gilead Sciences for making this event possible.


girls-just-wanna-have-fun-10-26-16Stella Steps Out was a blast!!

 

This year’s Stella Steps Out was a big success – together with 146 dedicated members of the community, you raised nearly $53,000 in support of BABES Network-YWCA! Take a look at some photos from the fun-filled evening.

Thanks to the community members and BABES friends for your ongoing support. Huge shout out to Lakesha Johnson for allowing us to share what a day in the life of an HIV+ women is like. HIV does not define you! Check out Lakesha’s day here!

Stella Steps Out!!

1 Sep

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Break out your flashiest outfit and join us at Stella Steps Out 2016, an annual fundraiser for BABES Network-YWCA!

Enjoy a lively evening of dancing, food & drinks, remembrance, and celebration. Show off your competitive side in our silent auction or race in the dessert dash. And most importantly, fund the work of BABES, a unique program that provides critical peer support to women facing HIV and their families.

The 2016 Stella Steps Out honoree is Jodie Howerton, founder of Redefine Positive – an organization dedicated to updating medically inaccurate and socially stigmatizing HIV/AIDS curriculum. Redefine Positive is grassroots, community-funded, and founded to develop free educational videos that support health curriculum for students in elementary, middle, and high school.

The early bird ticket price of $125 is available through September 9. Ticket prices increase to $150 starting September 10.

If you have any questions about Stella Steps Out, please  email events@ywcaworks.org and to register click here!

 

 

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BABES Talking Fall Newsletter!

The Fall BABES Talking Newsletter! BABES shared their expereinces from our Annual Retreat this past July! We had the largest retreat to date with 48 BABES, volunteers and staff in attendance, we had different educational topics such as Women and HIV, Co-dependency workshop, support groups, spirit with the sand dollar crafts, 80’s themed karoke party and much more. We are already looking forward to next years Annual BABES Retreat! Click here to read the full newsletter!

 

BABES Family Picnic

21 Jul

BABES Picnic 2016

What Brings You Joy?

2 Jun

The Summer BABES Talking Newsletter Topic is What Brings You Joy?

We asked the BABES members to share what brings them joy, thank you to the BABES that shared with us.

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Here is what brings joy to Dorothy
Joy to me means being Hepatitis C free.
Joy means waking up in the morning in my right mind.
Joy means being clean and sober.
Joy means my cat.
Joy means me being happy.
Joy means having a true friend.
Joy means my grandson who keeps me laughing.
Joy is my 2 daughters.
Joy means having my own apartment and paying rent.
Joy to me is having a selection of clothes and shoes to choose from.
Joy to me is my freedom.
It is joy for me to have enough of whatever it is I want or need.
Joy to me is being me – a totally different person.

Click here to read the full newsletter!