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Memories & Hope for the Future: It’s All Right Here

I was only twenty years old when I first heard the term “AIDS.” I lived across the street from the Gay Men’s Health Crisis in NYC, where I saw so many people walking around looking like haunted ghosts, sick and alone. I had to do something, so I volunteered to visit with people who needed company.

The visits were heartbreaking. I talked with guys who literally did not have a single person in their world to visit them at home. They were disappearing before my eyes.

I remember one man, Richard – I’ll never forget him as long as I live. I would go in on Tuesdays and enter his beautiful apartment and we’d spend time together. At that time, no one knew if it was safe to hug someone with AIDS. But I hugged Richard. I didn’t care. He was a gentle man. On Tuesdays, a volunteer from God’s Love We Deliver would bring food. Richard would light up. You could tell he looked forward to those deliveries and that it was a highlight of his week.

I visited with Richard for a few weeks, before he died. But I’ll never forget how important those meal deliveries were. That was God’s Love. I visited others. A makeup artist on Broadway received meals from God’s Love. A man whose husband was a flight attendant. God’s Love delivered to them both. I remember their faces like I saw them yesterday. I remember the donation cans God’s Love had in all the shops and bars in the West Village and all over the City.

I couldn’t stay in NYC for too long after that. I needed to find space to grieve. So I moved to Boston for 11 years. But God’s Love always held a special place in my heart.

When I returned to New York City, I started attending Blessed Sacrament Church, which had long been involved with God’s Love as a distribution center. I was proud of my church, and excited for a new opportunity to get involved.

I love this organization more than anything. At 58 years old, I now have time and resources to give in a way that I haven’t before—as a donor, volunteer, and ambassador.

God’s Love founder Ganga Stone used to say, “Service is joy.” She was right. And I want to keep the joy going, even after I am gone. I’ve joined the Legacy Society, putting God’s Love in my will. It’s an honor to be a part of this life-changing work. I hope you will get involved, too, with a gift, by volunteering, or membership in the Legacy Society. Because it’s important to remember those we’ve lost, those we’ve helped, and those who still need God’s Love.

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