Join Red

Did you know that tomorrow, December 1, is World Aids Day? Join (RED) and make your friends and family aware of a very excellent campaign and easy ways to help out the effort.

I first found out about the Join Red AIDS in Africa campaign when Gap started carrying tee shirts in their stores a handful of years ago.

I bought a red tee shirt (for something like $4) that said Desi(RED) -- Desi is the Indian word for...Indian person, so I had a good laugh with the significant-other unit whenever I wore it. (In case you didn't know, the significant-other unit is from India.)

I later lost that shirt during one of my more energetic clothing purging sessions. But I found another great shirt which says 2 Weeks. On the underside of the back of the shirt there's a short paragraph that explains that the donation you give by purchasing the shirt helps a person with HIV obtain medication for two weeks.

Around the same time I also found a red leather bracelet at Gap which had all the (RED) campaign taglines on it. It's one of my favorite pieces.

I recently wore the 2 Weeks shirt and bracelet on my trip to Italy. My mom remarked on the shirt. She probably thought I was protesting against work and wanted to give my two week notice. NOP! Not yet mom. I flipped up the back of the shirt to show her the message about the two weeks' worth of medication. She was impressed with the campaign.

Since I bought the shirt and bracelet, I've spotted other retailers participating in the (RED) campaign. For example, in mid-2010 I got a rechargeable (RED) Starbucks gift card, so that a percentage of all I spend becomes a donation to the (RED) campaign until December 31, 2010--however, as I was looking for the link for this blog post, I realized it's now until December 31, 2011 #WIN.

A friend mentioned to me on Facebook that he's had the American Express (RED) card (UK only) for a couple of years.

Why do I care? 
Because I visited Africa when I was 4-5 years old and loved it and realized back at that young age that there was an opportunity to extend a neighborly hand to folks who have to contend with tourists a little too much. Also, because of this poem. Help to be helped. Karma.

So anyway, I just wanted to throw this your way. I hope you give a thought to supporting the visibility of the (RED) awareness campaign. They make it really easy, by letting you post a themed avatar to your Facebook and by reTweeting on your Twitter timeline. Else you can show your support via Foursquare and Meetup.com.

Whatever you do
Check out the Join(RED) site to figure out how you can be a part of the solution. Give it a thought, and you will have accomplished a very good deed indeed, for the day.

Much health,
- J