Partnering with the Elton John Aids Foundation
I always promised myself that if I should ever own a business, I would make it a priority to give back to my community. I believe it's important to collaborate with organizations that work at both a local and global level, as these are the ones that have the power to make an impact. And now here I am, only a full year into business ownership, and I’m keeping that promise to myself and my community! I truly love the premise of “community” and the idea of people from all walks of life coming together to support and engage with one another in order to bring about change that otherwise wouldn't be possible. I am thrilled to be able to say that we at Joshua Allen Design are now taking a huge step forward and doing our part to give back to the community we support, admire, and love! We are SO PROUD to announce that starting today, October 1st, 2019 Joshua Allen Design will be donating 5% of all consult related proceeds to the Elton John AIDS Foundation!
I'm sure a few of you out there are wondering why an interior design company like us would choose this particular foundation to give back to. Well, it is a valid question. After all, we aren’t in the medical business, the organization itself has nothing to do with design, and we (sadly) aren’t BFFs with Sir Elton John (though we did see him live once and he was phenomenal!). Our reasoning is simple; we believe in a cause. This cause. This foundation. It is important to us to stand strongly for what we believe in regardless of correlation to our company, perceived message, or other people's biased opinions. The HIV/AIDS epidemic is a global issue that is too often “swept under the rug” because the stigma associated with the diagnosis prevents conversation. People who are not educated about the disease might have misguided fears, prejudices, and other negative attitudes towards it. This stigma can result in those living with HIV being insulted, rejected, and at the most extreme it can even lead to physical violence. This isolation, fear, and lack of support has an impact on the overall health of those affected. We at Joshua Allen Design believe there is something we can do about this. We believe in the importance of continuing to work toward a cure, eliminating this discrimination faced by victims when diagnosed and as they seek treatment for the rest of their lives. We've done our research, and the EJAF has grant-making practices in place to directly fund and support clinics and communities around the world. They do so with a limited number of staff members, allowing the majority of the funds to be disbursed around the world where they are needed most. We believe in what they stand for and the work they do, this is why we chose to partner with the EJAF.
Today, HIV/AIDS still remains prevalent in our global community and the stigmas surrounding HIV/AIDS are just as alive as the disease. Even after recognition of the epidemic world-wide (after many years of government denial), decades of research and milestones in treatment and testing, it is still labeled as a worldwide pandemic. The EJAF has raised over $400 million world-wide to date, which all goes toward their mission to “…alleviate the pain - whether physical, emotional or financial - of those living with, affected by or at risk of HIV/AIDS…” From a global point of view, this organization proudly supports programs and clinics that provide education about the virus, financially supports small community run clinics, and funds initiatives to further the idea of removing the stigma from an HIV/AIDS diagnosis.
It’s amazing how a single person, business, or community can really influence positive change in the lives of those who are struggling. We have personally witnessed the impact of this virus throughout the community and have seen the mental, emotional and physical struggle people endure with the diagnosis and lifelong treatment of HIV. It is devastating to those affected and terrifying to the loved ones of those diagnosed. This is primarily due to the lack of education and those horrible stigmas that surround the diagnosis. The epidemic impacts individuals in every community, every country, and of all genders and orientations, with prominence in the gay community, the African American community and with those who use intravenous drugs. HIV/AIDS itself has no prejudice in whom it affects and is most often transmitted unknowingly. It is important to understand and reiterate the facts surrounding this diagnosis to prevent further misconceptions. We believe that the power of education can bring light to the unfair stigma around the disease, and that better access to treatment without facing discrimination is crucially important. We stand with the EJAF in their efforts to achieve this.