A Christmas tree has been erected at reception where anonymous gift donations can be deposited on behalf of the peer support organisations Body Positive and Positive Women.
"Approximately 50% of people living with HIV are on either an invalid's benefit or some sort of assisted income, leaving them without spare resource to meet the additional costs of Christmas," says Bruce Kilmister of Body Positive. "This initiative will put something extra in a few Christmas stockings, and reflects on us as a community in caring for our own."
Suggested items for donation include:
- Plain coloured cotton sheets
- Pillows and pillow cases
- DVDs (movies)
- Bath mats
- Razors, shaving and toiletry items
- Tooth brushes
- Air fresheners
- Laundry items
Donations are being accepted up until Wednesday December 19, and donors are asked not to wrap the presents, as Body Positive and Positive Women will organise this after collection has concluded.
"It is important to remember that whilst treatments for some living with HIV are OK, for others there are real challenges that impact on health, wellbeing and ability to work," says NZAF Executive Director Rachael Le Mesurier.
"Christmas is always hard for those who face the harsh impact of HIV, and this contribution is a gesture to recognise this within our communities and show that they are in our thoughts."