Every minute, five peo- ple become infected with HIV, one child dies every minute from the virus, and 40.2 million people currently live with HIV or AIDS.
Since 1992, Canti- cle Ministries has been leading, supporting, and providing services to people from their locations in Aurora and Wheaton, who have been affected by the HIV virus in some way.
They provide housing programs and ba- sically take care of people until they are independent enough to get back on their feet.
This organization does advocacy work as well, with student, church, and civic groups.
Something else they offer is mentoring where clients can find hope through just sharing their thoughts, emotions, and worries with another person who knows what they’re dealing with.
Some of Canticle Ministries’ main fo-
cuses are bringing awareness about this virus to help reduce the spread of it and to stop the negative stigma.
They have been work- ing with COD students in Human Services and Advocacy classes for eleven years now.
Every year they work closely with the college, where the advocacy classes choose a dif- ferent issue to plan an event and advocate for.
“We’ve had some excellent partners,” commented Jeana
Stewart, Co-Director of Canticle Ministries along with David Allen.
“The students show extreme amounts of dedication and the projects have been very impactful.”
In the past, Canticle Ministries and COD have held a number of World AIDS Day Services/events.
They have had years where people could have gotten tested for the virus, AIDS walks, and students have volun- teered by teaching En-
glish to clients who could not speak it, and offering computer training to the clients who weren’t experienced with them.
Another important project that Canti- cle Ministries pro- vides is their Schol- arship Program.
This program gives financial assistance to high school students by HIV/AIDS who want
to attend college. It is the first of its kind in the country and is extremely helpful for students who have lost their parents to HIV/ AIDS, and eighteen year olds who have reached the age where many support systems end for them, such as foster care and medical care.
The organization rec- ognizes that there is a lot of emphasis on pre- vention, but little sup- port for kids who have had HIV/AIDS since they were born which is why they provide hope with this program.
“This project real- ly helps people learn of the potential they have for a successful future,” said Allen.
David Allen has been a part of the organiza- tion since March of 2000. In the past he has been involved with a church in Los Angeles that helped people who have the virus and he’s happy to
say he went from a vol- unteer to being employed to work for the cause.
Jeana Stewart has been with Canticle Ministries since December of 2000, and her first day was actually the day after World Aids Day. She
has experience working with the HIV communi- ty and has always been interested in a position with social service.
Student Anne O’Hanlan is a student whose Advocacy class is planning the Bake Sale for Aids Aware- ness Day Nov. 27.
“This event is also a great way to support World AIDS Day on Dec. 1,” commented O’Hanlan.
It will be in the SSC on the second floor near Starbucks, 9 AM – 6 PM. All proceeds go to Can- ticle Ministries Schol- arship Fund and the Human Services Network Club of COD sponsors the event. There will be pamphlets, condoms, and red ribbons given out.