There are so many fine organizations that I support, but probably my favorite is the Asian and Pacific Islander Wellness Center here in San Francisco. It's been a long time since I have written about them here, so let me begin with the basics. API Wellness, located at 730 Polk Street, is the oldest non-profit HIV/AIDS services organization in North America targeting Asian & Pacific Islander communities. Their core belief is that "everyone deserves to be healthy and needs access to the highest quality health care" and their mission is to "transform lives by advancing health, wellness, and equality." They provide free and confidential HIV testing and treatment, mental health and substance abuse counseling, free needle exchange, numerous health programs, and so much more.
When I told you about my participation in AIDS Walk San Francisco this summer (which I do every year), I don't know if I mentioned that I had the great joy of being a part of the API Wellness team. The money we raised then though was just a drop in the bucket compared to the amount needed to provide the many programs. Government and foundation grants make up the largest part of them income, but the donations of individuals is a huge help. Volunteering for the organization helps a lot too!
I am hearing about more and more new programs every day - seriously. One good way to find out more it to visit their website at http://www.apiwellness.org - also, hear some stories. Click HERE for a powerful video that will introduce you to the Banyan Tree Project. More on that at http://www.banyantreeproject.org/