aidspirit usa

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Welcome to the AIDSPirit USA website. Our organization is dedicated to providing hope and life essentials for communities affected by HIV in Billings, Montana and Kayunga, Uganda.

Uganda 2017:: Smiles and joy surround us

Excerpts and photos from Julie C.'s blog:

This day kept us on the go with teaching opportunities at home, and in the community.  But of course, teaching is relative… and the AIDSpirit team continues to learn the perspectives of life in Africa.

 

Mischevious Little John!

Mischevious Little John!

The head master's son Malcolm enjoying bubbles (kids all around the world love the same simple things).

The head master's son Malcolm enjoying bubbles (kids all around the world love the same simple things).

One of the twins and Little Mary writing and drawing together as a family in the dining hall.

One of the twins and Little Mary writing and drawing together as a family in the dining hall.

"Community outreach: eye glasses, an adult literacy program exploratory discussion and HIV education." Marcene and Gretchen working on outreach and education for the community members.

"Community outreach: eye glasses, an adult literacy program exploratory discussion and HIV education." Marcene and Gretchen working on outreach and education for the community members.

Our Tender Mercies' boys and Mason! The relationships formed here will impact these young men for the rest of their lives.

Our Tender Mercies' boys and Mason! The relationships formed here will impact these young men for the rest of their lives.

SHOUT OUTS May 2017

As you know, AIDSpirit USA is a completely volunteer run organization, and could not be successful without the partnership and dedication of community members here in Billings Montana and around the nation.

We think it is important to highlight those special groups and people that we are blessed to work with on our mission, so this month's shout outs go to:

Miles City CCW donated hygiene kits for the AIDSpirit sponsored students in Uganda. This group of women have been loyal supporters of AIDSpirit for a number of years through fundraising and sponsoring a student.

St. Pius X Church graciously provides a space for AIDSpirit’s monthly gathering on the second Monday of the month. The parish also recently made a generous donation to AIDSpirit through the Christian Service Committee to assist with our local ministry.

Many thanks and blessings from this year's Garage Sale!

The board and dedicated group of volunteers would like to thank all of our supporters who helped make our almost annual garage sale a huge success. We were so very blessed by all of your donations and your patronage during the sale!

Thanks to the hard work and generosity of many, we raised nearly $5,000 to support our local and international ministry programs!

A special thank you to Ron May and the Central Christian Church for hosting the sale, Janet Mahoney for chairing the sale and to those who worked long hours, and supported the sale especially Denise Sandvick, who traveled from Killdeer, ND to assist.

With Gratitude,

The AIDSpirit USA Volunteers

2017 Uganda Packing Party!

It's that time of year again, when we come together for fun and preparation for the next big send off of our team to visit Tender Mercies!

We will be meeting at the Jacques' home on Sunday May 21st, to pack many totes full of supplies and small gifts for more than 60 children we love and care for and their communities in Kayunga District, Uganda.

Here's the list of items we need, please share and help us collect them:

  • 20 bottles of sun screen (for a small population of Albino's in need)
  • Sunglasses
  • Band-aids
  • Gauze bandages
  • Medical tape for bandages
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Alcohol swabs
  • Anti-fungal cream
  • Children’s liquid Ibuprofen
  • Hydrocortisone cream
  • Bata dine
  • Children’s liquid Tylenol
  • Extra Strength Tylenol (adult)
  • Folic Acid (needed for more than 200 people living with Sickle Cell Anemia)
  • Tampons (needed for 10 of our older children)
  • Kotex (needed for 10 of our older children)
  • 4 bottles of Head and Shoulders shampoo 
  • Chewable vitamins for children – (needed for 62 of our children; please NO gummies)
  • Antacid tablets and liquid
  • Powdered baby formula
  • Used shoes in good condition for men, ladies, children, babies

We would also welcome monetary donations for shirts, pants and basic items the children need for school and mosquito nets. We also need 5 student computers for university students.

April 2017 Newsletter

Did you see our newsletter? No?! Well you're in luck, we've got your digital copy right here!

April 2017 Newsletter

If you'd like to be added to our mailing list, please fill out this form!

Thank You!

Morgan Ditto, AIDSpirit USA Secretary

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You're invited to a pot luck!

Please come and celebrate the kick-off of Food for Friends in our new home! It is with great pleasure that AIDSpirit announces that Food for Friends (including the Pantry) will be reopening this month with a new location and a new partner: St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church. We are delighted to be able to continue to offer these services to those living with HIV in our local community and to expand the reach of these programs to include those “at risk” for this illness and generally for people in need of the service. There will be a kick-off pot luck dinner at St. Andrews on Thursday, April 20th from 5:30pm to 7pm to which all are invited. Please come and bring a dish (last names A-J main dish, K-R–side dish, S-Z-desserts) and join in our celebration and fellowship, as we relaunch this worthwhile ministry.

Click here for details!

-Corinne, Program Coordinator

April and May Monthly Gathering: Cancelled

Hello local supporters! We will be cancelling our monthly gathering on April 10th to support our upcoming Food for Friends potluck and the Mother of All Garage Sales. We will also be hosting in May a Uganda Packing party to prep for the teams scheduled travels in late May.

Stay tuned to the website and social media to save the dates. We look forward to seeing you soon!

Morgan, Secretary

Check out the list! Garage sale donations still needed!

Want to know if you've got the best kind of treasures to donate for our garage sale!? Well here you go, the list of recommendations from our estate sale expert volunteers.  Contact us about donating and supporting the Mother of All Garage Sales!

  • Furniture
  • Decorative Items
  • Tables
  • Hand Tools
  • Lamps
  • Sporting Goods
  • Linens
  • Records
  • Dishes
  • Musical Instruments
  • Flat wear
  • Good Toys    
  • Kitchen items
  • Lawn Mowers
  • Rugs
  • Books and tapes
  • Camping
  • Old cars or motorcycles that run
  • Outdoor furniture
  • Bicycles 
  • Fishing
  • Jewelry                                             
  • Gardening tools etc.                     
  • Flat Screen TV’s that work
  • Art
  • Collectables
  • Antiques

Hey Glendive Montana! Join us!

AIDSpirit USA would like to invite everyone in the Glendive area to join us at the Dawson County High school for a presentation featuring some of the projects that were funded in part by members of the Dawson County High School Key Club and the Glendive Kiwanis club.

Two members of the local Glendive Kiwanis, Chuck Rushing and Karen Ballantine, along with a few Montana Key Club members traveled with us in 2016 to Uganda. During this journey, they were able to witness first-hand where the funds they raised were used to drill a new water well which now serves thousands of people in a remote village in the Kayunga District. 

Celebrate with us as we once again return to Uganda with both of the Kiwanis members who joined us last year and two of your local Glendive Key Club members as well!

Please show your support and join us at this important event! Click here for event details! 

Our USA team that traveled to Uganda taking their photo with our family and friends at Tender Mercies Outreach Foundation in Kayunga District. May, 2016.

Garage Sale Donations Needed

It's that time of year again, and we're looking for supporters who would love to donate their gently used and well loved items for our Mother of All Garage Sales. Our dedicated chairperson, Janet Mahoney, would love to hear from you about what you have available, so contact us! We'll be collecting items the week of the garage sale. Click here to see our request list!

Our donation drop off times at the Central Christian Church are:

Monday April 24th 5:00pm - 8:00pm

Tuesday April 25th 10:00am - 8:00pm

Wednesday April 26th 10:00am - 12:00pm and 3:00pm - 8:00 pm

Thursday April 27th 10:00 am - 8:00 pm

Thank you in advance for your support!

A note from the chairman: Jan Besel's Memorial

During the Memorial service held for Jan Besel this past week, everyone heard first-hand how Jan had dedicated her life to serving others and AIDSpirit USA was at the top of her list. Even though Jan has never been to Uganda, she and Marcene McDonnel each year held a walk for water event at Riverside Middle School to raise funds for water related projects and our children at Tender Mercies. She was so dedicated to the work being done by AIDSpirit that one Jan's last wishes was that memorials from her service were to be donated to AIDSprit USA, what an incredible gesture on behalf of Jan and her family.  

We have invited Bob and his sons Zach and Brandon and other family members to come and share a little of Jan’s life with the AIDSpirit family at the March 13th Monthly Gathering and we would like to encourage you to not miss this wonderful event. 

Tom Jacques

AIDSpirit Garage Sale: The Mother of All Garage Sales

Hello! This is Janet Mahoney - the Chair Person for the 2017 AIDSpirit Garage Sale.

 Spring is coming - PROMISE!  And when it does and you begin your Spring cleaning - cleaning out your drawers, cupboards, attic and garage, please set aside all of your unused and unwanted articles to donate to the AIDSpirit Garage Sale.

 The sale is scheduled for April 28-29, 2017, INSIDE the Central Christian Church, 1221 16th Street West, Billings.

We will be accepting your donations, at the church, Monday, April 24th - Thursday, April 25th. Times to be announced. If you really can't drop off your donation, we will have a few folks available to pick it up that week prior to the sale.( call Janet - 406-252-4686)

 The space is small, so we really need to focus on quality items, not like old water bottles and vases! As always, no clothes or shoes, please.

We are excited about being indoors and we hope to make this a successful sale, so we can continue our good work for those affected by HIV locally and in Uganda.

If you have any questions or have the burning desire to volunteer to help, don't hesitate to give me a call! 

Thank you and God bless, Janet.

January Bulletin: Local Outreach Update

AIDSpirit held its regular monthly meeting on Tuesday, January 10. Due to some immediate and anticipated changes at the Yellowstone AIDS Project, the particular emphasis of this meeting was on bringing together community contacts to address the ongoing needs of persons living with HIV in Billings. We were so grateful and encouraged to have such a supportive, interested group gather together, especially given the cold, snowy night.

Thank you to all who attended!

After brainstorming, the group came up with a long-term, overarching vision of an inclusive, and embracing Billings community that is a safe place for all vulnerable and marginalized people. Specifically, it was evident that there are several great groups in place to address the needs of LGBTQ people and their families living in the community including:

Always our Children

The Rainbow Coffeehouse

Riverstone Health

AIDSpirit (specifically for individuals affected by HIV)

Local Churches including St. Andrew Presbyterian Church

Not in Our Town

Our hope is over time to form a bridge between all of these organizations to provide a solid network of support.

Immediately, our plan is to allocate a portion of each AIDSpirit monthly meeting to address urgent local issues. We wish to develop a plan to address the immediate needs that we have identified for local people living with HIV and move from there. Key issues are: new home for the frozen meals program and continued limited meal delivery; home for “The Client Pantry”, prescription copays; and emergency funds for at risk HIV positive clients, including assistance with emergency housing.

We would encourage any interested people and organizations to continue to attend our meeting (the second Tuesday of each month, 7 PM at St. Pius Church) to share their ideas and help us develop a solid plan of support. In February we will be meeting on Monday February 13th to observe Valentine's Day on our regularly scheduled meeting.

Submitted by Corinne Denegre, Food for Friends Chair, Board Member

Our New Children

These are the two boys that were left at the gates of our home. They are currently hospitalized, and being treated for malaria and severe malnourishment. Please send them your love, thoughts, and prayers, and if you find it in your heart to help with their hospital bills, donate here.