Last night, about 10 students at Seattle Pacific University acted as humanitarians, deciding that studying for tests could wait. They partnered with World Concern to construct an exhibit for World AIDS Day, decorating 1,000 small white crosses with red ribbons cut from felt.
The 1,000 crosses represent the number of worldwide deaths in four hours from AIDS. If there is good news this year about the pandemic, it is that the number of deaths is slowing with better prevention and life-extending medication. Still, it is a global crisis and human tragedy on an epic scale. About eight in 10 AIDS orphans are in desperately poor Sub-Saharan Africa, the hardest hit region, where the rate of AIDS in some countries exceeds 20 percent.
Just before World AIDS Day, which is the Dec. 1, SPU students will help me and other folks from World Concern stake the 1,000 crosses into “the Loop,” the prominent grassy field on campus. Drivers on 3rd Avenue West will see the crosses, and likely wonder what is going on.
Our answer: those who are dying from AIDS are not forgotten. And we are part of the solution to stopping it and caring for those left behind.
All day on Dec. 1, World Concern and thoughtful SPU volunteers will sell buttons for $5 each, with the proceeds going to support World Concern programs that benefit orphans from AIDS in Zambia, Kenya and Haiti.
We hope you visit us at SPU’s Gwinn Commons cafeteria, learn more, and donate $5.
It’s a small, but important, way to make a real difference for the most vulnerable people.
Learn more: www.worldconcern.org/spu