My daughter told me about the Red Scarf project in Peterborough and thought I might be interested. I saw this as an opportunity to participate in an HIV/AIDS initiative in a community outside of Toronto.
So I fired off a an email to PARN ( Peterborough Aids Research Network).
PARN - Your Community AIDS Resource Network provides support and health promotion for people who are living with, affected by, or at-risk for HIV in the four counties of Peterborough, Kawartha Lakes, Northumberland and Haliburton; education and equipment for people at risk for HIV, hepatitis C and other sexually transmitted and blood-borne infections; outreach and programming for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, 2-spirit, queer and questioning (LGBTQ+) youth and women who are living with, affected by, or at-risk for HIV; community capacity building projects and workshops; and awareness of HIV/AIDS issues to the broader community.
The PARN gang sporting the Red Scarves made by volunteer knitters. My contact for the project is Brittany (seated on the couch).
The Red Scarf Project raises awareness around HIV support and prevention while also serving the needs of our communities in the winter months. Red Scarves will be placed on trees throughout Peterborough on World AIDS Day. If someone is cold they can take a scarf. This is PARN’s first year participating in the Red Scarf Project however The Red Scarf Project began in 2012.
In 2012, its first year, The Red Scarf Project was a public installation of hundreds of red scarves on the streets of downtown London and Stratford Ontario, by staff and volunteers of the Regional HIV/AIDS Connection. This was the focus for the agency of AIDS Awareness Week and leading up to World AIDS Day on December 1st. Scarves are knitted or crocheted by talented community members and donated to Regional HIV/AIDS Connection for this key awareness raising event. People who found the scarves were encouraged to wear them, take them home, read the attached information tag and spread the important message of awareness. In the first year over 350 scarves were made by people in our service area and beyond!
Regional HIV/Connection received a “Big Red Scarf”, measuring 2 ft. by 15 ft. At their request, it was lovingly knit by Pat Sole of the “Knitwits”, at First- St. Andrew’s Church. This scarf appears in social media campaigns and public events for the Red Scarf Project, to help create HIV/AIDS awareness for years to come
In 2013 Regional HIV/AIDS Connection focused on amplifying impact by handing out red ribbons with some of the scarves. The ribbon was on a card inviting recipients to pass along the ribbon to someone else to keep the conversation, education and awareness going.