As a lay member of Awake, I was proud to be a part of World AIDS Day at ACU and the entire week promoting AIDS awareness. Last year the organization raised nearly $3,000 for an orphanage in Malindi, Kenya after a Chapel presentation that featured a video and 250 students wearing orange shirts bearing the message, ‘Are you awake?’
This year, in light of other fundraising efforts on campus and lack of a specific place to give money to, Awake decided to push awareness and proactive involvement in AIDS education and prevention. The ‘Lives Are at Stake’ campaign, as advertised on WorldVision’s Acting on AIDS Website, has been a hit at other campuses. Awake decided to employ this method as a visual way to get attention for the cause. It didn’t demand anything from anyone, but it asked that people take a look at the face of a child whose life is quite different from us here at ACU.
It is true, the pictures of the children that were on the stakes also gave the reader an opportunity to give money to help the kids.
Seriously, prayer is really helpful, but I think sometimes it is more helpful to give a child in Africa some money on top of prayer instead of praying for them for a few days.
I contend that it would have been worse to not at least give people information about where they could give money if they wanted to do more than pray. Regardless of how poor the American college student going to a private university is, the hurt their wallet may feel from a donation is nowhere near the joy the children in Africa would feel from a little bit of food and medicine. Holt was right, all the speaker asked you to do was pray for Benjamin. WorldVision is the one, like their brave employee Steve Haas, asking for money.
It’s a shame to criticize Awake for not being honest when all they did was allow students to choose in private how much they wanted to be involved; there may have been more guilty consciences that led to the money that was raised last year in Chapel, but at least that money was raised. Which is worse, the fact that they didn’t ask for money in Chapel and that there was indeed the opportunity to give money or that most people have already forgotten about the kids and AIDS and will not think about it again until December 1, 2007?
junior journalism major from Eustis, Fla.