By Alexandra Cloyes
For decades, the San Francisco AIDS Foundation and the Los Angeles LGBT Center have provided preventative care and health services to those living with HIV. They deliver these health services regardless of an individual’s ability to pay.
These two organizations depend on fundraising initiatives like the AIDS/LifeCycle Ride, an annual 545-mile bike ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles. For the second year running, Youth To The People employees were training to make the cross-state journey, and like last year, this year’s ride would have raised millions of dollars and helped to save lives. The ride, originally set for early June, has been canceled.
The Covid-19 pandemic—the farthest-reaching global health crisis in generations—has forced numerous charities and charitable initiatives to abandon their plans in favor of innovating new ways to fundraise and support at-risk communities in an age of social distancing. In mid-March, as shelter-in-place took hold, AIDS/LifeCycle announced that this year’s ride would instead be virtual.
Enter the innovation of the MY 545 Challenge. 545 miles make up the distance between the start and finish lines of the annual ride. This year, participants (like Youth To The People’s team) will complete 545 miles, minutes, or reps of a personal challenge while fundraising for the San Francisco AIDS Foundation and the Los Angeles LGBT Center. Think 545 minutes of at-home yoga practice, reading, or running around the yard.
To see what YTTP’s own team has pledged to do, including our founders Joe and Greg, and to cheer us on, click here.
Although many are job-, food-, and health-insecure during this pandemic, for those of you who are able to give, and want to, there are many charitable initiatives including the ALC ride that depend on donations, which have unfortunately all but dried up in the face of this overwhelming global health emergency. You can find more information here.