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Halloween fundraisers help HIV organizations

Halloween HIV/AIDS fundraisers

Just in time for Halloween, two upcoming Atlanta events are scheduled to raise not just spirits, but also funds for local charities.

First up is Jerusalem House’s annual Carnevale, now in its 11th year. Jerusalem House is the city’s largest and oldest provider of housing for men, women and children affected by HIV/AIDS. Slated for Oct. 22 at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis, Carnevale is the organization’s signature fundraiser.

“It is the biggest fundraiser that we produce ourselves for the agency,” says Alex Wan, development directory of Jerusalem House. “It is a costume party, with great music, food, drink and fun. All attendees will enjoy an open bar  — cocktails compliments of Grey Goose Vodka and wine provided by HobNob — a buffet, and dancing to music provided by DJ Mike Pope.”

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‘Best year yet’ for Backpack in the Park; donations up 28 percent

2011 Backpack in the Park

This year's Backpack in the Park fundraiser was the “best year yet” and collected 1,826 backpacks for underprivileged school children, organizers announced today. Backpack in the Park was held on July 30 in Piedmont Park.

“This was by far our best year yet for Backpack in the Park,” said Chris Bess, president of For the Kid in All of Us, in a media release.

Donated backpacks increased 28 percent over 2010, the group noted.

“In addition to the backpacks — some 400 more than were donated last year! - we also collected $1,200 in gift cards,” Bess said. “It is so wonderful to see the smile on the kids’ faces when you hand them one of the backpacks. Now they are ready for their first day of school with all the tools they need to be successful! That’s what Backpack in the Park is all about.”

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CHRIS Kids helps LGBT youth find home, support

Moving to a new home is a milestone for any family. For CHRIS Kids, a nonprofit Atlanta agency that provides housing and support to LGBT and other young people, it’s particularly momentous.

Georgia First Lady Sandra Deal will be on hand Aug. 30 as CHRIS Kids celebrates the grand opening of the CHRIS Counseling Center, Education Center and Summit Trail Apartment Community.

The move unites CHRIS Kids’ administration and other programs with its program to help young adults who were homeless or aging out of foster care that has already moved into the Summit Trail apartments. It also puts the CHRIS Kids administration closer to the agency’s eight group homes for younger children.

“It’s a huge deal because a place that represents home, family, stability and safety for kids needs a permanent home,” says CHRIS Kids CEO Kathy Colbenson. “A home needs a home.”

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Backpack in the Park benefit stirs nostalgia, helps needy kids

Backpack in the Park

It would be tragic if a future brilliant writer failed to find her voice because she didn’t have a pencil in her first grade language arts class, or if a gifted artist abandoned drawing because he was too embarrassed to borrow crayons from his classmates.

“When you’re sitting in the classroom and you notice that the person next to you has the big three-ring binder with everything they need, and you’re using a binder that’s about to fall apart and you’re using a pencil that’s down to the nub, I think it has a big impact on a student’s self esteem and self confidence,” says Chris Bess, president of For the Kid in All of Us.

For the sixth summer, For the Kid is helping underprivileged children throughout metro Atlanta start the school year with the confidence that comes from, say, a Lady GaGa Trapper Keeper. On July 30, the non-profit hosts “Backpack in the Park,” which last year collected almost 1,500 backpacks filled with school supplies.

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Jerusalem House wins $25,000 in Home Depot Facebook competition

Today at noon was the final day to cast your vote for Jerusalem House in its neck-and-neck battle with another nonprofit for a $25,000 award from Home Depot.  The winner will be officially announced July 1, but the nonprofit is posting via social media that it appears to have won the contest by some 200 votes.

Jerusalem House, Atlanta's oldest and largest provider of housing for homeless and low-income individuals affected by HIV/AIDS, went against other finalists The Abilities Foundation, based in Seminole, FL; Service International, from St. Louis, MO; and Teen Challenge from Reno, NV, as finalists in the Aprons in Action program. The tight battle came between Jerusalem House and Teen Challenge who exchanged leads throughout the voting process, with sometimes less than a dozen votes separating them at times.

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Atlanta’s Jerusalem House up for $25,000 Home Depot award

Jerusalem House, Atlanta's oldest and largest provider of housing for homeless and low-income individuals affected by HIV/AIDS, has been selected as a finalist in the Home Depot-sponsored Aprons in Action program.

The Abilities Foundation, based in Seminole, FL, Service International, from St. Louis, MO, and Teen Challenge from Reno, NV are also nominated.

Each finalist receives a $5,000 Home Depot gift card, and the grand prize, awarded to the cause with the most votes after 30 days, will be given a $25,000 gift card. Jerusalem House Executive Director Charlie Frew says that winning the grand prize would go to good use: