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July 23, 2018

How Can a Community Garden Project Help People Who Are HIV Positive?

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Red Ribbon Auction
July 13, 2016

Looking to promote and advertise your business? Want to reach thousands of local Rhode Islanders as well as potential customers all over the United States?

Consider making a donation to the 2016 Red Ribbon Auction, today!


The Red Ribbon Auction is an online auction of gift certificates, services, jewelry, vacations, clothing, electronics, etc. and will be held during the month of October 2016. Your donation will support HIV services and help those living with HIV in Rhode Island! 

Our online auction goes live on October 1st and opens the door to thousands of people nationwide to bid and learn about all Rhode Island has to offer! Our goals are to provide as much visibility as possible for our donors and raise much needed funds to support our expanding programs. AIDS Care Ocean State wants you to be an integral part of the Red Ribbon Auction. To donate, simply fill out the DONATION FORM and mail or fax it back to us before September 2nd 2016. Every donation is important and helps us reach our fundraising goals. 

Wait, what happened to ArtBeat? 

AIDS Care Ocean State is changing it up this season and we are excited to announce that Art [With A Different] Beat will take place in the Spring of 2017. The Art [With A Different] Beat will include a juried art contest and party to support our programs and services. More details will be released soon so stay tuned and spread the word!

AIDS care Ocean State help people deal with the physical and emotional issues around HIV, issues that are frequently magnified by poverty. While everyone can agree that medicine can help keep HIV in check, it might be surprising to know that hopelessness, uncertainty and feelings of isolation can be a barrier to living a healthy life for an HIV Positive person.

That’s why Livia Harkow started the Women’s Community Garden Project at our Tanner Street location in 2018. In fact, during a therapy group, a client asked if we could start a garden. Livia, a graduate of URI’s Master Gardener program, knew it was a good idea to engage clients. There is a lot of evidence to suggest that horticulture therapy can really improve the spirits of HIV positive, low income people.

How? It’s an excellent way to talk about nutrition and self-care, and creates a feeling of community and purpose; all of which generates positive emotions, self-esteem and a meaningful appreciation of life. It nurtures the idea that a woman’s body is her own, a feeling that may be new to our clients. In practical terms, it leads to people more actively interested in taking their medicine and going to group therapy. Plus, they are eating healthier, learning life skills, and being a part of something larger.

Thanks to the partnership of some generous donors, including the South Side Community Land Trust and Earth Appliance, our clients have planted a garden of to be proud of. These dedicated women in our group therapy take pride in the beautiful and blooming organic garden they created, where herbs, tomatoes, lettuce and squash thrive in the sunlight.

Inclusion is a big part of the program. Garden beds were created to be compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, so that people with physical limitations could also participate. An ACOS youth group has been invited to participate and Livia would like to expand the program to other ACOS Housing, such as New Transitions, Sunrise House and Austin Place.

Now, the program practically takes care of itself. The Community Gardening Project for Women continues to meet twice weekly using horticultural therapy principles. This wonderful program helps our clients combat isolation and give a sense of community to all who participate.

Would you like to help our clients live, happier, healthier lives by supporting programs like this one? Click here to donate to AIDS CareOcean State!