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Christian Reformed Church members are answering the call to Embrace AIDS. That’s the name of CRWRC’s campaign to raise money for and awareness about people living with HIV and AIDS.

The two-year campaign, launched on World AIDS Day, Dec.1, 2007, has raised $500,000 of its $3 million goal, thanks in part to innovative fundraising projects by CRC members eager to help CRWRC improve the quality of life for people living with the disease.

Vic and Betty Johannesen, owners of Park Lighting in Edmonton, Alberta, donated all their Dec.1 profits to the campaign. Staff wore CRWRC “Embrace AIDS” T-shirts and, thanks to prior promotion of the event, Park Lighting had its best sales of the year.

In another part of Edmonton, the Christian choral group Voce Humana recorded For This One Reason, a CD of 14 songs of worship and praise produced with one major goal: to raise money for CRWRC’s AIDS programs. Sales from the CD have raised $9,000 since November 2006.

Even the youngest churchgoers have been moved by the message to embrace AIDS. Alison Nirula, 6, and Charis Wildeboer, 5, were so inspired by an AIDS video shown in their Oakville, Ontario, church on World AIDS Day that they decided to hold a fundraiser of their own. The girls made 75 Christmas tree ornaments and sold them after church the following Sunday, raising $1,600.

Churches across North America can show their commitment to the fight against AIDS with a special Embrace AIDS Day service on Sunday, April 20. Donations will provide funding to CRWRC’s HIV and AIDS projects in 13 countries while building awareness among CRC members about the disease and its relationship to issues like poverty. Access to anti-retroviral drugs, training for pastors, care for orphans and vulnerable children, improved nutrition, and prevention education are a few of the programs CRWRC has in place to help put an end to HIV and AIDS. For more information about CRWRC’s HIV and AIDS work, visit

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