Every year, people around the world commemorate World AIDS Day on December 1. We do this at God’s Love too. It’s an occasion to pause and remember all of our family, friends and clients who have passed away from AIDS since the pandemic began and those who are living with or who are affected by HIV/AIDS today.

Early in our history, almost all of our clients diagnosed with AIDS passed away. God’s Love provided meals and comfort for them for days, for weeks or for months, whatever they needed. Their futures were short, their needs urgent, their gratitude and that of their loved ones profound.

Today, we have much more hope. Many of our clients now live with AIDS for years, into their 70s and beyond. As their lives and needs have changed, we have become increasingly focused on nutrition and deliver the tailored meals our clients need to manage their illness and become as healthy as they can be. Every day we witness miracles. Sometimes people start on our program close to death, and with proper medical and nutritional care, they become strong enough to no longer need our services.

Yet daily we are reminded that AIDS still remains a devastating disease, one that continues to steal the livelihoods and the lives of far too many. Daily, we are reminded of the continued urgency of a caring heart, an outstretched hand and a nutritious meal. Daily, we provide comfort for those whose lives are shortened by AIDS and whose journeys are made just a bit easier because of our work.

As we pause to remember those who are loved and gone, let us also remember those whose pressing needs call to us today. Let us continue to fight to ensure that those living with HIV/AIDS receive food and nutrition, housing, medical care and all the other services they need to be as healthy as possible, for as long as possible. Let’s also fight to ensure that, throughout their illness, they receive the love, care, dignity and respect they deserve.