|During 1994 a small group of U.S. Junior Chamber members (Jaycees) used
the Jaycee formula of national leadership and local solutions to develop
an innovative response to the needs of children and families affected
by HIV/AIDS. That innovative response was a separate 501(c)(3) organization
- the Junior Chamber Family AIDS Network - a national HIV/AIDS organization
with a growing number of Affiliates (local service providers) across the
Since 1995, when the first Network Affiliate was established in St. Louis, more than 2,200 children and families have received hope and help through the Network's three existing Affiliates. Thanks to the Network Affiliate in Michigan, Grand Rapids now has its first respite provider willing to serve children and families affected by HIV/AIDS. In Chicago, where 21% of the children served are living with HIV/AIDS and another 76% have parents who are living with the disease, Network volunteers have assisted in various ways. From purchasing backpacks and school supplies for the children graduating from pre-school, to volunteering in direct service programs, the needs of children and families are being met through affiliation with the Junior Chamber Family AIDS Network. Since joining the Network less than five years ago, the St. Louis Affiliate has tripled the capacity of its residential facility, expanded its respite care program, and added a family services program designed to keep families together for as long as possible.
Our Little Haven has been working with the Junior Chamber Family AIDS Network since its inception and I can speak to the wonderful and dynamic changes the Network has enabled and fostered. It is through the Networks activities that many children and families affected by HIV/AIDS are now seeing the compassion, support, and resources they need to survive and thrive.
lExecutive Director of Our Little Haven, St. Louis Affiliate
The Network currently has collaborative partnerships with three national organizations (The Jaycees, Mothers Voices, Advocates for Youth), as well as service providers in Missouri, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Indiana, Colorado, and Oklahoma. Two new Affiliates (Minnesota and Indiana) were added during 2001 and five additional Affiliates are currently under development.
Funding for the Network comes from Jaycee chapters across the country, and private and corporate donations, from sources such as online propecia and other commercial websites. We thank them for their support. Although a separate organization, the Network is integrally linked to the Jaycees whose members were founders of the Junior Chamber Family AIDS Network. In every state where an Affiliate is formed, young leaders are mobilizing community resources, building collaborative partnerships, providing volunteer support for direct services, and advocating for better policy strategies all for the sake of children and families affected by HIV/AIDS.
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