Anne Gardner is the Executive Director of Bracelet of Hope, a nonprofit organization in Ontario, Canada. During a recent interview, she shared with us her views and insights regarding their fundraising website, Go Red For Mothers, which is in honor of Mother’s Day.
One of the most interesting and exiting aspects regarding the mission of Bracelet of Hope and Go Red For Mothers is defined by how grounded their work is in a small community of 120,000 people in Guelph, Ontario, Canada. And how the power of one small community can impact another in Lethoso, Africa, where one of every four mothers are infected with AIDS.
Bracelet of Hope was founded five years ago by Dr. Anne Marie Zajdlik who raised one million dollars in two years, and is operated by a staff of only three. Their mission is to continue to raise funds for those infected or affected by AIDS in Lethoso, Africa. Thus far their work has helped to fund the opening of the Tsepong Clinic which serves 2000 patients per month. Amongst those served are mothers, children and their extended family members who care for the orphans left behind.
In asking Anne how we can help, she talked of how crucial donations are so that the mothers and children of Lethoso can continue to receive medical care. Go Red For Mothers is the website that Anne and her team at Bracelet of Hope have designed to raise funds. Instead of getting angry or seeing red, participants are being asked to donate funds or to dye their hair red as a fun and celebratory act in honor of the Lethoso mothers on Mother’s Day. Anne spoke of Go Red For Mothers as a way of bringing attention to an issue in a positive way in the midst of what seems hopeless by doing something hopeful and constructive.
Another very powerful way that we can help is by building community-to-community links. Anne shared the work of the Grace Community Group as an example of a small community who has come together to raise funds for the Mothers of Lesotho, Africa. Such community to community links can be built anywhere and we can all share in this work. Community groups not only raise funds to help those in the front lines, nurses, doctors and clinic staff and the families they serve; they also educate and raise awareness levels regarding AIDS. Anne said that working within a community to community link puts a face on the issue by having a direct relationship with the Lethoso families and professionals.
Anne discussed how taking a stand in our own countries to put policies in place that will have a global impact in supporting those affected by AIDS is another way that we can help. An example of this is a legislative bill supported by Bracelet of Hope, BC393, which enables the export of low cost drugs to other countries.
Anne uses DoJiggy online fundraising software to make her work easier.
We are thankful to her and those involved with Go Red For Mothers for the work that they do in helping Mothers. Happy Mother’s Day to all!