Thursday, May 8, 2008

Lending a Hand

By Thomas Henning

I have been thinking a lot about Cable Positive staff’s upcoming trip to New Orleans for NCTA’s The Cable Show.

For Cable Positive, The Cable Show is, and has always been a great opportunity to connect with supporters, see what new innovations the industry is set to unveil, and challenging ourselves to identify the opportunities for Cable Positive to further its mission with a win-win strategy for both the HIV/AIDS community and the cable industry. It is about partnership, and The Cable Show is a great opportunity to form or strengthen partnerships in order to support our fight to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS.

This year, the staff of Cable Positive is excited to be volunteering with two AIDS organizations while in New Orleans to help in their revitalization efforts. Project Lazarus and Kent House, both homes for people living with HIV/AIDS, are still feeling the aftershocks of Hurricane Katrina. Cable Positive, and members of the cable industry, will lend their hand in assisting the full-time staff of both organizations with landscaping, painting, cleaning, and cooking.

Project Lazarus was founded in 1983 and is the oldest and largest assisted living residential facility for people living with AIDS in the Gulf Coast Region. Consisting of four houses, Project Lazarus can house up to 24 individual at a time. This is made possible with the help of 32 full time staff and more than 150 volunteers who provide 24-hour care to the residents.

Kent House, the sister organization of Project Lazarus, is also a residential facility that was so hard hit that $150,000 in additional funding is needed before construction can resume on one of the homes.

In addition to the volunteer work, with the help of 80 people from the NBC U family, that will be happening, Rainbow Media’s President and CEO, Josh Sapan, will be donating 35 piece of art to the residence of both organizations.

It is exciting, right? I mean, the idea that we can go into a community as a team and make a difference; make it more whole, if even by a little bit, is energizing and inspiring. I think that is one of the things I love about the team I work with. We all believe in making a real difference. We all believe in giving others the opportunity to join us as we try to make that difference. Most importantly, we all understand that we can not accomplish it alone—that it does take a village; a community; a team to turn an idea into a reality with momentum. Next week is just one of the many examples of how much we believe in the difference community can make - and community can make a difference - I couldn’t be prouder to be part of it.

It isn’t too late to join us. If you are interested in volunteering, or would like more information, please contact Jennifer Medina, Director of Programs at Cable Positive, at 212-459-1504 or

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