It is a rare thing indeed that you will see in this web log any kind of financial solicitations (I figure you can get that elsewhere!), but I will ask you now, with an open heart: can you help? Times are hard, I know. But that damned virus never has shown any respect, much less any regard for propriety, order, or convenience, and is still yet off and running. That is why you are so needed, and why I am sitting here typing instead of doing the work that threatens to fall forcefully at any moment down upon my head.
It is hard to keep on caring, under the best of circumstances. It is really hard to keep on caring enough about people battling HIV, or any other crisis for that matter, to keep on doing whatever one can, to help. In this case, to get out there and participate in the annual AIDS Walk benefiting Care Resource, South Florida’s leading HIV/ AIDS services Agency. Yet my friend and sometime mentor Richard Milstein keeps on doing that, year after year. This year, on April 19, 2009, Richard will set out on his his 19th “walking prayer.”
(As an aside, it must be noted that a debate rages about this person called “Richard Milstein,” on the question of whether he can possibly be real. The question is understandable, for his energy is not measurable by modern science (hateful, I know, but he never seemed to “grow up” like so many of us did, slowing down from verb to noun.) Yet his heart is gold and he is always and everywhere actively seeking to help people on a dizzying variety of fronts. Look up the word “Mensch” in the dictionary, and you will likely see his face. He is not only real; he is one of the most real human beings I have ever been privileged to know.)
Richard being given “the other five commandments,” (once believed to have been lost during the filming of Mel Brooks’ A History of the World), by longtime community leader Ruth Shack. Or maybe it was a Recipe Book, who knows?
Anyway, that’s Richard.
But enough about Richard. I wanted to share with you his letter, and ask only that you consider his request:
This is a difficult time. But imagine being diagnosed with HIV/AIDS
and not having sufficient funds for your medication or for counseling or
other assistance. Imagine choosing between meds or food at times of
the month when your funds are low.
Do you know that the fasting growing rate of infection is among
minority women, the elderly, and the youth? These are people who do
not know about HIV and prevention because their cultures do not allow for its
discussion or because they believe it “can not happen to them.”
This is why I participate every year in the AIDS Walk South Florida.
It is my 19th year out of the event’s 21 years, and I still walk. Every year, every step, hoping that someday I will no longer have to do so. But that is not reality yet. We are just not there. I know that this is a difficult time and the economics are sobering, but I am asking you,
to please donate, if you feel you can, to the extent that you did last year, $50 for
individuals and $350 for businesses. If that is not possible, would you please consider donating as much as you feel comfortable? If you are in a position to donate more, that would be a spectacular blessing…
I also ask if you could send my message to those on your email lists
to whom you feel comfortable and see if they want to participate by
donating as well. Your network of email friends or through Facebook,
Plaxo or other social web sites, could make the difference in raising
necessary funds to those that truly need assistance. For each of you
that donates on line on the link below, I will donate an additional $1
per donation in recognition and appreciation of the savings of postage and paper, and preservation of our natural resources.
THANK YOU ONE AND ALL FOR YOUR ASSISTANCE.
Richard C. Milstein, Esq.
1 S.E. 3rd Avenue, 25th Floor
Miami, FL 33131-1714
If you can’t send money, send a prayer. All will be gratefully accepted.
From the heart, Thank You.