Maybe you have seen some of my rafting pictures on facebook. But its not all about splashing, having fun and eating guacamole(though we do all those things). I have committed my time and guide skills to sharing the river with people who are living with HIV/AIDS for Healing Waters Wilderness Adventures.
Its been an extremely rewarding volunteer experience the last 6 or so years, so much so that I have taken on a leadership position on the board.
Healing Waters Wilderness Adventures’ mission is to:
Empower, inspire and enrich the lives of people with HIV/AIDS through wilderness adventures
Living with a chronic illness can be very emotionally and physically draining. The psychological toll in itself is huge. Healing Waters exists to help people step outside from all of that for a day or weekend -- we offer incredibly fun weekend and weekday trips specially designed to people challenging HIV and AIDS.
Our trips have been designed specifically with the special needs of individuals living with HIV/AIDS. For minimal fees, provide transportation, accommodation (tents, sleeping bags and pads), equipment, instruction, and any warm clothing needed including rain jackets, wool socks, and more. The meals we provide are specially designed to be high in protein and nutritionally balanced. Our cost per person is $60 and now I am trying to raise enough funds to cover the cost of 60 people ($3600)
Donations of any size from $5 to $5000 would be greatly appreciated and put to good use.
If all of the above is a little touchy feely and you like numbers, I got some of those too.
Healing Waters Improves Lives
A research study was conducted during the 2005 summer rafting program. A medical student from the University of Rochester administered the 20 item Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CESD) Health Survey to 110 whitewater rafting program participants. This scale which measures physical and mental functioning was utilized as it is the standard for validity and widespread use amongst professionals in the field.
The results demonstrated the impact of outdoor adventure therapy. After participating in a Healing Waters weekend rafting program, participants experienced the following:
• 53% decrease in depressive symptoms
• 26.7% increase in vitality
• 27% increase in perception of positive mental health
• 14% increase in perception of physical abilities
Whatever you can do, I promise, it will make a difference.