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25 years of BABES and we are still here!

4 Dec

tina

 

It was New Year’s Eve, 1991, when a doctor told me I had HIV. I went back to the shelter where I lived and while everyone around me celebrated, I cried myself to sleep. The women of BABES became my family. Through all the steps I’ve taken, they have been there for me. I can’t imagine what my life would be like without them.

 -Tina

 

 

 

 

Dear Supporters,

Every day, your support of BABES Network—YWCA is changing lives like Tina’s.

Whether a woman is newly diagnosed and feels like she has nowhere to turn, or she’s been living with HIV for many years and can thrive with a strong network – you’ve been there by her side.

I asked Tina what your generosity means to her – and I want to share what she told me:

Your support means the world to people who live with this – you give us a place to go, a sisterhood. You help people realize that they can live a long time with this disease. We may not be in the news every day, but there are a lot of us. Don’t forget about us, we’re still here.

Thanks to you, for 25 years BABES has been giving women living with HIV a place to turn for support. This year, in honor of BABES’ 25th anniversary, will you make a gift of $25 or more?

 

Thank you for keeping BABES in your thoughts this holiday season.

Warmest wishes,

Nicole Price BABES Network—YWCA Program Manager

P.S. Your gift will make a real difference for a woman living with HIV/AIDS! $25 gives five HIV-positive women the chance to heal from domestic violence, drug addiction and mental illness through a peer-led support group.

To donate click here!

BABES Celebrates 25 Years!

1 Oct

The Fall 2014 BABES Talking Newsletter is stories from women about:

‘What 25 years of BABES means to them’! Read founding Executive Director Jesse Chipps’ story below:

It’s been 25 years since I accepted Kass Anderton’s invitation to come to her house for a bring-your-favorite-take-out pot luck.  That was the day I met the women who would become some of my closest friends and biggest source of support for dealing with HIV.  It’s funny how a few hours can change your life, but that evening changed mine.  I was in an unfamiliar neighborhood, with women I didn’t know at all, who were different from me in every way I can name…except one: we all had HIV.

I learned a lot of things that night.  I laugh, now, at the closed off person I was then, and how that night broke me wide open.  What did I learn?  I learned that heterosexual women are not just the people who were mean to me in high school.  I learned that people who are religious can also be incredibly kind and open.  I learned that people who were in the military don’t necessarily have values that are different than mine.  I learned that a person can be incredibly ill and incredibly strong at the same time.  Most important: I learned that I could walk into a room and have my first thought be, “Oh, no…these are sooooooo not my people,” but leave, many hours later, realizing that they soooooooooo WERE my people.

For the past 25 years I have had the honor to share a meal, talk, cry and, yes, sing karaoke with BABES.  We have supported each other through pneumocystis, sick kids, employment bias, mental illness, shingles, addiction, poverty, early and awful medications, lipodistrophy, domestic violence, and sometimes death.  We also shared spaghetti, watching some of those kids grow into adulthood, silly art projects, and M&Ms.  I know that I’m a better person for knowing the BABES, and I often question whether I would still be alive without their support.  That was true 25 years ago, and it’s true today.

Nicole, Brenda, Tranisha, Kelly, Pat, and every BABE:  Thanks for being there for me and for each other.

~Jesse Chipps

Click here to read the full newsletter!

 

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Stella Steps Out

Thanks to everyone for an exciting event and fundraiser! Together, we raised more than $49,000 to support women living with HIV and their families! See event photos on SmugMug.

This year was also the 25th anniversary of BABES. Watch this video to see what has changed for women with HIV since 1989.

Many thanks to all who made Stella a success!

25 Years of BABES from Shannon Gee/Geez Louise Media on Vimeo.