Dear Future VPWAS Board Members

Dear Future VPWAS Board Members

Living with HIV has been both a burden and blessing.

From the relentless social stigmas to outright rejection by family member and would-be lovers, to weekly doctor appointments and disability cheque debacles to the weekly after-shock of, “Fuck, did I take my meds today!” –all this compounded by stressors of a world that increasingly feels unhinged –why volunteer to help run a grassroots organization like Vancouver Island Persons Living with HIV/AIDS Society (VPWAS)?

If all these hardships have been challenges, working with VPWAS has been the chosen blessing. This virus connects us all in ways we have yet to discover. What I have learned as a board member over the past two years has supported my health and tangibly contributed to the health outcomes of hundreds of people. VPWAS is one of the places I get to show up in this crazy world and say, “I care. Living with HIV can make a difference.” Most importantly, it demonstrates to my aching heart that “We don’t have to do this alone.”

Board members bring their life experiences to the great work of helping others. We alleviate one another’s suffering by carrying this burden together. One of the significant changes over the past two years has been that VPWAS was given the nod from Island Health to carry forward the peer navigation process for the Stop AIDS initiative in this region. People living with HIV know inside and out how to help each other through events that could otherwise be highly isolating.

As I complete my term with VPWAS I want to acknowledge the exemplary work of our E.D. Craig Dales, Sarah, T.J., Penny, Michael, and an amazing cast of volunteers, Piotr Burek as chair and fellow board members for the caring and love they demonstrate to so many of us. No matter how rough a day I am having when I walk through the VPWAS door the hugs feel like someone turned the lights on again.

Whether you are new to the world of HIV/AIDS or a long-time host of HIV, let’s talk soon. Please come to our AGM on September 20, 2016. We do not need experts. We need each other. Next year is the 25th Anniversary of this little grassroots organization that just keeps growing in significance. Please consider yourself invited to join the board during this exciting time of change. Whatever your skill level it is your passion to serve the health and wellbeing of your fellow Poz folks that will help steer the direction of HIV efforts for years to come. It is an honour to be of service alongside such a great crew of people.

Robert Birch
Board of Directors, VPWAS

The 2016 Annual General Meeting of the Vancouver Island Persons Living with HIV/AIDS Society (VPWAS) will be held on:

Tuesday, September 20th, 2016
1139 – Yates Street
Victoria, BC

Please RSVP
support@vpwas.org
or call the office at 250.382.7927/1.877.382.7927

Download PDF Invite/Letter

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Vancouver Island Persons Living With HIV/AIDS Society (VPWAS) 205 - 1120 Yates Street, Coast Salish Territories, Victoria, BC. V8V 3M9
Phone: 250.382.7927 | Fax: 250.382.3232 | Toll Free: 1.877.382.7927 | support@vpwas.org | www.vpwas.org |