Thanks for all your support and votes.
[A woman stands in front of shelves containing bags of meals and boxes of fruit]
Hi, I'm Caila Nickerson, Senior Manager at Lifelong's Chicken Soup Brigade. At Lifelong's, we're not just providing medically tailored meals, groceries and nutrition counseling to people with serious illnesses, we're bringing them our whole hearts. The power of our program comes from the fact that we take care of the whole person, body and soul. The Aetna Voices of Health award would allow us to continue this vital work by expanding our culturally specific food offerings. It's not enough to just hand someone food, we have to consider their unique life experience through culturally relevant ingredients. We already deliver East African and Latino bags and these dollars would help us add an Asian-focused bag to better serve our clients from Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand with foods that meet their nutrition and health needs as well as their social emotional needs. Please support Lifelong today.
Lifelong began in the height of the AIDS epidemic as a group of volunteers advocating and caring for people living their final days. The same outrage that ignited the need for Lifelong in the early 80's (by providing life changing services to the most stigmatized people of that time) is still the heart of our work today. Just as the disease has evolved, so have our services so that we can best support and advocate for people living with and at risk for HIV, as well as expanding our unique model of care to people living with other serious illnesses. For more than 35 years, we have been turning ostracism and neglect into love and inclusion.
In order to empower people to live their healthiest lives while fighting serious illness, we have to meet people where they are. Whether someone needs access to nutritious meals, secure housing, insurance, help navigating the confusing healthcare system, or simply wants to know their HIV status, Lifelong is there for them. In 2018, we served more than 4,000 people in King County and beyond, delivered nearly 200,000 nutritious meals, distributed 141,879 condoms, and so much more.
Every day, our food program provides medically-tailored meals and grocery bags for people living with serious illness and home-bound seniors. Our medical case management program guides people through the confusing healthcare process after a diagnosis. Our housing program provides emergency, transitional, and permanent housing for people living with HIV. Our prevention team administers HIV tests and assists with PrEP navigation. We also provide dental care, insurance and pay copays for people living with HIV.
Our goal is to provide comprehensive, compassionate support to break down whatever barriers are in the way of our clients reaching their best health.
From holding neighbors' hands in their last days to helping people access the healthcare they need to thrive, Lifelong has been built on a strong foundation of community-focused care in King County and beyond. Because of our history caring for people who are vulnerable and disenfranchised, we are uniquely positioned to see where people fall through the cracks in the healthcare system. With a strong infrastructure already in place, Lifelong will continue to provide high-quality care to people living with HIV and expand on this history by being an advocate for people living with other serious illnesses. Our friends and neighbors fighting for their health are still being left behind. With a community of supportive staff, donors, and volunteers, we will ensure everyone has the access to care they deserve.