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The Spirit of Giving

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Our choice in life to give has many significant benefits not only for those that receive but for those that give. Rewards of health and happiness, and strength of entire communities are a result of donating time, talent and treasure to charities.

Giving often results in joy, charity, a greater sense of community, caring, and a strong feeling of self-worth. When volunteers and donors are asked why they give, the common answers are,” It’s the right thing to do”, “Because there is a need”, and “I feel better about myself.”

It’s been proven that when people give, it activates regions of the brain associated with pleasure, social connection, and trust, creating a “warm glow” effect. Giving is good for our health, giving to others has been shown to increase health benefits in people with chronic illness, including HIV.

Giving promotes cooperation and social connection. When you give, you’re more likely to get back. One’s generosity is likely to be rewarded by others at some point. This can sometimes be by the person or organization you gave to, sometimes by someone else.

Giving evokes gratitude, whether you’re on the giving or receiving end of a gift, that gift can elicit feelings of gratitude. It can be a way of expressing gratitude which is integral to happiness, health, and social bonds. Giving is contagious, when you give, you not only help the immediate recipient of the gift it can inspire others to give to our community.

Significant observances, such as GivingTuesday and World AIDS Day, are often the triggers and serve to remind us of opportunities to donate and support.  When we give we share with others in so many ways. PWA is very fortunate to have many volunteers, donors and community supporters who give. These community partners keep PWA front of mind and truly understand the meaning of “Giving”. Joining together to participate in events, donating money, or volunteering of time helps form long-standing relationships and build strong communities.

In the weeks leading up to the Holiday Season some amazing fundraisers were organized by our community partners. These individuals find great pleasure in giving back to PWA, which was evident in the effort that went into hosting these  great events.

We’re so grateful for the passion and energy that went into each event bringing holiday cheer and opportunities for engagement for all, and funds raised in support of people living with HIV/AIDS.. Thanks to all the following organizers for their hard work and dedication:

Flash, Maria Delmonte and Druscilly DuBarry for Starry Nights

TICOT for the Night of a Thousand Stars and Purse First Events

Heroine Marks for the Jingle Belles Event

Shake it Up/ Michael Pez for the Santa Baby Event.

Spearhead Holiday food Drive

This wonderful spirit carried on into 2017 with an event in honour of Chris Edwards, Chris Edwards, an icon in the community, tirelessly raised funds for PWA. His signature event – an ensemble cast of character impersonations – was an annual blow-out event of the best drag in Toronto. Toronto Legends  Donnaramma and Amanda Roberts  orchestrated The Stars Reach Out to PWA held on January 26 at Blyss Nightclub. With incredible community support from cannabis Culture, Blyss Nightclub, Woody’s, O’Gradys, Church St. Garage, Buddies in Bad Times Theatre,  TICOT, and of course thirteen remarkable Drag performers, the event raised $10,110 for PWA. It was truly a fantastic night and exemplified the spirit of giving. PWA’s long-standing community partner, Scotiabank joined in to support this incredible initiative – Thanks to Jeffrey Erhahon and the team for their ongoing support.

Chris Edwards had a deep and very impactful relationship with PWA. Chris’s dedication and commitment to people living with HIV/AIDS has changed lives and to this day his legacy continues to inspire. Chris’s influence had no boundaries which was so evident through his commitment to PWA.  The community continues to fundraise in his honour and his memory.


“It is remarkable that so many people came forward tonight and gave more than asked. Out of remembrance. Toward future programs. Embracing the positive in all of us.”-
-Volunteer Participant