SO, i got to thinking (after Lizzie Crouch from Melbs sent me this story on the Twits) that in this Schlumpian Era, NOW is a GREAT time to recognize people for the work they do BECAUSE THEY ARE PASSIONATE AND WANT TO DO IT, not for applause and stroking as so many do.
Enter the FABULOUS Yvonne Gardner from Melbourne, Australia. Yvonne is 73 years young and never misses a moment to wear her vintage fashions. Dressed to the nines, Yvonne has been doing something amazing on her own accord. Yvonne started a service in the ’80’s that brings together and feeds people that are HIV positive and gives them a safe space where they can sit back, enjoy a three course meal with ZERO stigma.
Yvonne started this in the ’80’s after seeing a few of her male gay friends diagnosed with HIV and ultimately, back then, the diagnoses was usually 6-12 months and it was 6-12 months of hell.
She has worked closely with doctors and social workers and would often accompany people to break the news of their status to family members that usually ended in tears, blame and shame.
One of the things that Yvonne saw was the horrible stigma that was associated with being HIV positive and of course that stigma still exists today and Yvonne wanted to do something about this issue: Ms Gardner founded Positive Attitude Inc, a Friday lunch group in the northern suburbs of Melbourne, which offers a safe and comfortable space for people living with HIV to share and enjoy an affordable three course meal.
Ms Gardner cooks the meals every Thursday and then takes them down to Fitzroy Footy Oval (WT Peterson Oval Club Rooms) Friday morning.
Yvonne says she’s cooked over 600,000 meals so far, and is grateful to her volunteers and Darebin Council, who have supported the program financially over the last decade.
if you want to support her mission or just give some love to this wonderful woman, check out her facebook page here: www.facebook.com/positiveattitude13/.