Shawna Jordan has been volunteering with Syringe Access Services since June of 2007. Shawna said she began volunteering with needle exchange after emerging, “-from many years as an IV drug user relatively unscathed, and I want to do my part so everyone can have the support I had to stay as safe and healthy as possible while respecting the individual choices made by informed adults.” For the past five years, Shawna has volunteered almost every week at an exchange site and come to be known and loved by exchangers and staff alike for her compassion, her smarts, and her wicked sense of humor. Thank you so much Shawna for all you have done for our community – we love you!!
Ruben has been volunteering at the services lobby since moving to San Francisco in the summer of 2011. He also spends time at the 4th floor reception desk, often making him the first face clients and visitors see when they come to the foundation.
A veteran of many AIDS Walks and other fundraising events in Modesto, he has brought with him great energy, dedication and a wicked sense of humor. Ruben’s motivation is the memory of many friends who died of AIDS and the desire to give something back to the community. We are fortunate to have him and we’re pleased to honor him as Volunteer of the Month.
Tyrone Clifford came to Stonewall Project in 2/2011 to be part of the PROP Program. Since completing the program he has continued to work on his recovery goals by becoming part of the counseling program, attending groups and being a tireless volunteer. Giving back to Stonewall is one way Tyrone expresses his gratitude for the support he has received here. He assists with the running of PROP by co-hosting and with peer support, working outreach events for tweaker.org and just always there anytime help is needed. Tyrone Clifford, you have a very big heart- thank you for your dedication!
Gilberto Torres is originally from Michoacán Mexico. He has been attending El Grupo for the last two years and in July of 2010 he became a Latino Programs Intern.
Gilberto became a Health Navigator intern, and has since been helping Latino Programs participants by providing information, referrals and connecting participants to appropriate services including dentist offices, housing, mental health services and Alcohol and Substance Use services.
Merven is a member of BBE he’s also a Peer Health Advocate, and as if that is not enough he finds the time to volunteer with the BBE staff. Merven assist with setting up the group room for our weekly drop-in support group, as well as doing what ever is asked of him. Merven is a great person, leader and role model to his fellow BBE members.
I am a volunteer exchange provider at at HPP's Friday 6th street site. I have been a volunteer at this site for over 11 years now. I was well established with my own independent electrical contracting company and was earning a 6 figure salary. I was on top of the world and well on way to what I thought to be a prosperous future. In 1994 I became disabled, I also discovered I was HIV positive.In 1996, thru the efforts of an amazing case manager at the San Francisco Aids Foundation, I obtained social security disability benefits and health care coverage. I had to start giving back and I needed a Reason to not be high and ever spiraling downward. This I feel was my first steep toward a long recovery process. I had great respect for the San Francisco AIDS Foundation and the needle exchange, not only for the valuable services they were providing but also because I felt respected and treated with dignity and integrity, even thou I felt no sense of self respect or dignity of my own. In 1999 I started volunteering at the SFAF and then in 2000 I began working with HPP.
Juan Ramon Davila has been volunteering with Latino Programs for over three years. During that time, and despite maintaining an amazingly busy schedule, he has demonstrated to be an energetic, committed and caring Peer Health Educator. Juan Ramon’s charismatic personality makes him a pleasure to be around. We are happy and proud of having him as part of our SFAF family and to name him Voluntario del Mes de Marzo. ¡Mil gracias, Juan Ramon!
Ed DeMasi is invaluable to the production of AIDS/LifeCycle (ALC). Several years ago, Ed demonstrated that he was a tireless volunteer on a particularly early morning ALC training event. He has gone on to become a distinguished member of the team on MOST of the ALC pre-events. He takes on all tasks with equal aplomb, even those thought of as less glamorous, like cleaning the warehouse. His background in events and logistics is extensive and nonpareil. It was only natural that he became a Volunteer Captain for Orientation Day and Opening Ceremonies. Each year he provides crucial supervision to various teams, and his help is critical to the success of the start of the ride. As the Closing Captain on Orientation Day he ensures that we are set up for Opening Ceremonies. At Opening Ceremonies he leads the Breakfast team feeding thousands of ALC participants. After the cyclists ride out he leads another team making sure all is packed, cleaned and secured at the Cow Palace so that the Roadies and staff can get on the route down the coast. Ed is not only an unflinchingly hard worker with a wry wit, he is incredibly well organized and professional so everything is smoother and more fun when he is on the team. Thank you Ed for all you do for the cause!
It takes a special person to be a successful volunteer at Triage, but Ralph Meneghetti’s compassion, tact, intelligence, dedication and easy-going personality have made him excel at it. Ralph has been with Triage for the last six months, not only assisting with front desk duties, but also providing expert technical support that has helped tremendously in our efforts to adapt the former Hotline Referral Database for the use of the Programs Teams.
We are very happy to have Ralph as part of our team and we congratulate him for his selection as Volunteer of the Month for December, 2010.
Eryn Golden has been an intern with the >1 Program since March. She has brought her skills – and sassy attitude – to all of our events since. Eryn came down to the Wildflower triathlon site with the staff to set up tents for the participants then came back over the weekend to take care of our triathletes in camp. She has staffed the >1 booth at AIDS/LifeCycle Orientation Day, checked folks in and out at Run Club, and registered major supporters at the AIDS Walk VIP Breakfast. She helped with the planning and logistics from the start for The Big Gay 10K and staffed a booth at the event. In October she worked Rest Stop Closure as event staff on Seismic Challenge. In between events, she helps keep us organized in the office. All this while going to school full-time! For all the great work she’s been doing all year, we’re pleased to name Eryn Golden as Volunteer of the Month for November.
Leo Gallant has been selected for SFAF's Volunteer of the Month because of his "beyond the call of duty" dedication to Magnet and its customers. He volunteers as a Concierge, greeting customers, explaining services, managing our daily schedule, creating/preparing medical records for those receiving health services, and carrying out a range of other tasks to support our operations. During his 5 month tenure, he has gone from trainee to Rock Star, typically volunteering for multiple shift per week and doing so with good humor, great spirit, attention to detail, and professionalism. He works hard during every shift, and maintains a calm demeanor, which, in turn, helps our customers feel relaxed. Leo is extremely generous with his time and talents, and we at Magnet are grateful for to have him on our team.
Ramón has been a volunteer for El Grupo for over 10 years. Every week, Don Ramón (every one calls him Don) prepares salad, soups, and meals for all El Grupo participants. Ramón is always eager to help out and makes himself available to respond to any request from El Grupo members, from getting housing information to dental referrals. He welcomes everyone to our services and makes every one in El Grupo feel that he or she is part of our family.
We are proud and happy to nominate Ramón as Volunteer of the Month for September.
Steven Palmer joined the Black Brothers Esteem program in 2005. After attending sporadically for a few years, Steven asked BBE staff member Norman Tanner to be his personal mentor in 2008. As part of his mentorship, Norman put Steven to service in volunteering for the BBE program. The volunteering required progressively greater and greater responsibility, from helping Norman set up and clean up meeting spaces for BBE programming, to managing inventory of BBE materials and serving food at BBE program activities, to performing outreach at various public events. Steven continues to offer services like this with his volunteering for BBE on Mondays and Wednesdays.
In addition to his volunteering with Norman, a year ago Steven co-founded BBE’s own musical group, the Vessels of Voices. The Vessels of Voices is a multi-session workshop intervention of the BBE program (focusing on holistic health for supporting HIV-related health and harm reduction), a platform of outreach for the BBE program here at SFAF, and a tool for building community amongst the Black LGBT community of the Bay Area through spiritual music. Steven (who has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music and had a career as a high school music teacher in NYC before moving to San Francisco years ago) regularly volunteers his time as the music director of the group. He runs rehearsals as needed, sometimes as many as multiple times a week, and works with Micah and Tony for developing curricula for the BBE participants of the Vessels of Voices.
It is with tremendous gratitude for many months of service that the BBE staff nominate Steven Palmer as Volunteer of the Month.
A faithful volunteer since 2007, James was first acquainted with San Francisco AIDS Foundation through one of our endurance training programs. Though an injury didn’t allow him to complete a marathon that season, his endurance for volunteering cannot be matched. A four-time AIDS Walk participant, James has taken the lead as “Team SFAF” Captain the past two years and continues to volunteer on many other projects each week for Volunteer Services, Development and HIV Prevention Project. His passion for the cause, infectious enthusiasm and team leadership has made a great impact on our ability to recruit participants and to spread our prevention message at community outreach events. Thank you, James!
Kurt has been volunteering for the San Francisco AIDS Foundation for many years in many capacities but has been a special part of “the ride” (the bicycle rides from SF to LA that the San Francisco AIDS Foundation has either been a recipient or has produced.)
Volunteering led to riding and Kurt has completed several rides but riding never precluded him from volunteering.
Kurt has been invaluable as a Volunteer Captain for Orientation Day and Opening Ceremonies making sure that the Bike Parking team and area is well prepared for the thousands of bikes and participants, thus ensuring that the start of the ride is a smooth one.
This year he not only volunteered before the ride in the offices ensuring that the registration packets were ready for all of the participants; he was a Roadie Captain on the ride itself.
Thank you Kurt for all your help making AIDS/LifeCycle so successful and consistently supporting the Foundation with your efforts.
Kurt Schade is a multi-year rider and multi-year Training Ride Leader. He has created a 10-week training series especially designed to introduce new riders to AIDS/LifeCycle. It is called the “Intro to Training Ride Series” and he runs it every ALC training season, starting in January.
Kurt is always upbeat, always teaching (or singing up hills), and is thoroughly supportive of any new rider who comes on his rides. In addition to the Intro Series, after the 10 weeks are completed, he also co-leads the next series of rides called the "Bride of CAT 2" series, which is often for those folks who have graduated from the Intro Series and would like to pick up the pace a bit.
Kurt is the epitome of what makes our training program a success and he is entirely dedicated to getting all of his riders ready to ride in June.
Robert Lasky has been selected as Volunteer of the Month for April because of his selfless dedication to the California AIDS Hotline and the knowledge and wisdom that he brings to our Hotline family. Robert took the Volunteer training in August, 2010 and has been an exceptional counselor on the phones ever since. He gets along great with his Tuesday afternoon shift-mates and we love having him around. Congratulations!
Kimberly Snyder has been chosen as volunteer of the month because of her outstanding participation with needle exchange. Throughout the past two years that she has been a volunteer, Kimberly has gone above and beyond. Repeatedly she has been willing get us out of a bind if we are short a volunteer, specifically late on Saturday nights, generously donated pre-made hygiene kits that she and her friends have put together for our clients, and constantly been a patient listener to who ever walks into the exchange. Her calm presents at the site gives clients the feeling of comfort and respect which is why people are so willing to open up to her. We are thankful for all of the time, energy and love she has give to our program and we are lucky to have her.
Stephanie became interested in the California AIDS Hotline after hearing about it at the Folsom Street Fair several years ago. Soon after she decided to become an HIV educator and was soon a consistent member of the Hotline team while attending school full-time. Stephanie has not only brought her bi-lingual skills to the Hotline but also to several outreaches and events. Her quiet style was completely undermined by her outfit at Folsom last year(!) but her professionalism and understanding of harm-reduction with all clients makes her invaluable in every situation. Thanks so much Stephanie!
Casey Budesilich has been a familiar face around Magnet since starting as our first volunteer, one month after we opened in 2003. It started as a Community Organizing class assignment while studying for his Master’s in Urban Planning at UC Berkeley (he got an “A” from his Magnet preceptor), and to Magnet’s great fortune has continued ever since. Casey has provided invaluable service over the years, including assisting in the development and management or Magnet’s volunteer department, program development, grant writing, customer registration, and working with Magnet’s Community Advisory Board and management staff on strategic planning. Utilizing his sense of humor and eye for design, he has been behind some of Magnet’s best promotional campaigns and advertisements, creating images and messages that resonate with the gay men’s community in San Francisco. Casey has also has been at every street fair and Pride celebration at which Magnet has had a presence, working to raise awareness of Magnet’s programs and services in ways he probably never thought possible in a public health organization. All the more impressive given his own professional commitments as the Deputy Director of World Savvy, a San Francisco based organization that educates and engages youth in community and world affairs. The Magnet staff is grateful to Casey for his commitment over the years, and hopes to have him around for the next seven years, at least!
Allison Guyton – Allison has been doing an outstanding job at the California AIDS, STD and Hepatitis Hotline for two years. She first took the training in January, 2008. Since then, she has shown above average knowledge, compassion and ability and has always been one of our most reliable volunteers. She is also a pleasure to work with because of her unwavering positive attitude and sunny disposition. Congratulations, Allison, on being named Volunteer of the Month for December.
Judy came to work with the San Francisco AIDS Foundation through an unemployment program but stayed because she became dedicated to the cause. Starting in October 2005, Judy has shown incredible consistency and compassion. Judy is not just fun to work with she is thoughtful and brings a creative eye to most everything she does here. Under her direction, the volunteer newsletter itself has become more professional and much better looking. We very much appreciate your time here Judy!
Chip Supanich has been volunteering with HPP since 2006 and working as a Per diem for the last two years. Chip received volunteer of the month because of his outstanding dedication and love for needle exchange. On average, Chip is at the exchange at least 2-3 times pre week if not more, either supervising the site or volunteering. HPP can always depend on Chip to show up to the exchange on time, with tons of enthusiasm. He is someone that the staff, volunteers, and clients can learn from and trust. We are so lucky to have Chip at needle exchange, and by giving him this award he will hopefully see how much we truly appreciate him.
Alice Mai, Emily Martin and Joey Shemuel come to us as interns from Stanford, Dartmouth and Columbia University respectively. Individually Alice, Joey and Emily were incredible volunteers each bringing a diverse knowledge base, and skill set with tremendous energy. They all completed the California AIDS/STD Hotline training and served as educators on the Hotline for several months. They each brought extensive understanding, compassion and an astounding measure of decorum to even the most unusual/difficult of calls. Their work on the Hotline along with their training in harm reduction allowed for an easy transition into work with Client Services and the HIV Prevention Project/needle exchange sites. Beyond the client services, Emily, Joey and Alice worked as a team all summer to make sure that a myriad of projects including surveys, databases, events, outreaches, and speaking engagements were handed to perfection. Together they created and executed an HIV educational presentation for several speaking engagements. When asked about this dynamic trio, one staff member said “They have such positive energy! Always willing to do everything. They were always inquisitive, wanting to learn. Like a ray of (expletive for emphasis) sunshine and we’re bummed they aren’t here any more!!!” True that.
Edward's Bio: My volunteer career began in February 2002 when I worked as an outreach educator handing out condoms in bars, clubs and bathhouses as well as on the streets talking about safer sex with the Whitman-Walker Clinic in Washington, D.C. I never thought talking about sex could be so much fun and yet addictive. Over the past seven years, I also had the chance to facilitate weekly HIV/AIDS support groups for newly diagnosed and long-term HIV/AIDS clients and work with community leaders as board of directors for D.C. Capital Pride. The passion I have for serving my communities continues as I moved here four years ago. As a volunteer, I have worked with medical teams at UC Medical Center Hematology/Oncology Unit and San Francisco General Hospital Emergency Department, and for Glide Health Services and Haight-Ashbury Free Clinic as a registered nurse. Since August 2005, I have had the honor to become part of the Magnet family. This is what I do for the people I identify with and care about the most, and I would not have done it any other way.
Rachel Frazier has been a part of the AIDS/LifeCycle ride and the San Francisco AIDS Foundation for the past 6 years. In addition to helping out as a captain and now the Operations Deputy for the ride, Rachel has volunteered countless hours of her time as a fundraising expert and office worker. She has been the voice of the foundation at fundraising events for several years, giving fundraising tools to participants and bringing her unbelievable wit and charm to any situation. This past year, she spent many days of the week helping in pre-production for AIDS/LifeCycle and accomplishing many desperately needed projects for development. She is an intricate part of our volunteer work force and to be sure, Rachel is a volunteer super star!
A veteran of the AIDS Rides back east, Brent Michael Gannetta burst onto San Francisco AIDS Foundation’s event scene last year as a Roadie on AIDS/LifeCycle’s Bike Parking team. He quickly followed that up as the Bike Parking captain for the inaugural Seismic Challenge in October and assisted in Greater Than One’s recruitment outreaches. Brent’s can-do attitude and his mix of participant care and entertainment led Greater Than One to ask him to spearhead the >1 Volunteer Corps, who staff the sites and aid stations for the triathlon and marathon trainings. Brent accompanied the triathletes to Wildflower at the beginning of May - making sure they were well-prepared before the race, cheering them as they ran past camp, and caring for them on their bus ride home. Switching back to AIDS/LifeCycle, Brent volunteered for Day on the Ride, will be participating in the event’s Upload and will serve as the Camp Signage Captain during the ride. After a short breather, he’ll be back to support >1’s marathon trainees in their runs leading up to the San Francisco Full or Half Marathon. Because of this tireless devotion to the Foundation’s event participants, Brent Michael Gannetta is May’s Volunteer of the Month.
Lenore began volunteering for Syringe Exchange a year and a half ago and now serves as a health educator for the California HIV/AIDS Hotline. Having retired from her job as a Veteran’s Administration clinical data manager, she says volunteering for the Foundation “is a way I feel like I can constructively give back to the community.” Lenore learned about the Foundation’s work and need for volunteers from a local newspaper article. She calls Syringe Exchange “a truly wonderful program that I wish more cities and counties would have.” And she describes her work on the Hotline offering reassurance and referrals as “very worthwhile. Lenore’s supervisors say she brings a great sense of humor and insight to her work for the Foundation. They says she is always eager to contribute in any way she can and travels all the way from San Jose for her Hotline shift every other Tuesday afternoon. It is truly great to have you with us, Lenore. Thank you!
Christine first began volunteering on the California AIDS Ride back in the 1990’s. CAR 4 was her first event, and even then she raised money as part of the volunteer crew. The cycling bug hit her a few years later and she rode in CAR 9, raising over $3900 for the San Francisco AIDS Foundation. Since the beginning of AIDS/LifeCycle, she has volunteered her time every year both as the captain of the Bike Parking team and the captain of Orientation Day’s Tent Assignment. Every year, Christine raises vital funds for the foundation, commits numerous volunteer hours for AIDS/LifeCycle and the San Francisco AIDS Foundation, and brings with her a genuine desire to serve along with her winning smile. Christine Shaff is a real volunteer super trooper! Glad to have you with us, Christine!
Hillary Casper rode her bicycle from SF to LA in both AIDS Life/Cycle 3 and 4. Her passion for this event meant that when a Cycle Buddy position opened she applied and has been working with SFAF ever since. Not only does she work at the Foundation fulltime, she also fundraised and walked in AIDS Walk and in March of 2006 became a volunteer for the California AIDS Hotline. The Hotline has come to depend not only on her volunteering each week but Hillary has become a co-facilitator for Hotline trainings. Currently Hillary is training for the Avia Wildflower Triathlon as part of our >1 (Greater than one) program which raises much needed money for the San Francisco AIDS Foundation’s programs and services and is thinking about volunteering for needle exchange! This girl can’t be stopped! Thanks Hillary!!!!
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