AIDS Fund's mission is to educate about, and increase public awareness of, HIV/AIDS and to provide emergency financial assistance to people living with HIV disease and organizations providing HIV services in our communities. In 1987, volunteers from Philadelphia's lesbian and gay community center, Penguin Place, organized a Walk-A-Thon to support area AIDS agencies and raise public awareness about the disease. Philadelphia's first AIDS Walk raised $33,000. Since then, thousands of fundraising walkers have gathered each year to participate in the region's largest annual HIV/AIDS public awareness and fundraising event. To date, the regional AIDS Walk has raised almost $16.7 million for HIV/AIDS public awareness, prevention, and care services for people living with HIV disease.
Since its founding in 1989, AIDS Fund has expanded its activities beyond the annual AIDS Walk to include the popular monthly fundraiser GayBINGO, which has gained national recognition through a WHYY documentary that aired on PBS stations nationwide; Black-Tie GayBINGO, a more formal version of our monthly event which features a silent auction, dinner, dancing, and, of course, GayBINGO; Workplace Giving Campaigns, which provide employees an easy way to contribute to the fight against HIV/AIDS through payroll deductions; a Holiday Toy Drive which collects and distributes toys to children infected with or affected by HIV/AIDS; and numerous public awareness projects including the "AIDS in Philly" video series and 1981-Until It's Over… multimedia display and sidewalk timeline. AIDS Fund also produces a variety of smaller events and public awareness activities throughout the year.
Since its founding, AIDS Fund has remained committed to the philosophy that by coming together, each individual can make a difference in the fight against HIV/AIDS in our community. AIDS Fund volunteers, donors, and corporate sponsors are valued for their compassion and their response to the AIDS epidemic.