Tuesday, December 1, 2009

World AIDS Day

Today is World AIDS Day and Broadway theatres will dim their lights for one minute at 8 p.m. to remember those lost to the disease. They'll be turned back on "to emphasize human rights for those living with HIV/AIDS around the world."

There are 33.4 million people worldwide living with HIV/AIDS, including approximately 1.2 million in the United States. The vast majority, about 22 million people, are in sub-Saharan Africa.

If you're a theatre fan, here's something you can do to help.

Whenever I go to a show at this time of year I always make sure I have a little extra cash to drop in the bucket if the cast is collecting for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. (And of course, a credit card just in case someone auctions off an article of clothing I'd like to have.)

In 2009, Broadway Cares will distribute $7.9 million to groups in nearly every state and around the world. The money you donate helps pay for free health clinics, for food service and meal delivery programs, for housing and emergency assistance and a host of other vital services. Most likely an organization in your community is helped.

Sure, I've already paid quite a bit for my ticket but this just my way of saying thank-you to the people whose work I've enjoyed all year long. That includes everyone who works onstage and backstage and without whom, the show would not go on.

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