I’ve been involved with the Dr. Peter AIDS Foundation for the past five years and I’m proud to be associated with such an outstanding organization and the staff and volunteers who make it function so well.
Vancouver is home to some of the best HIV researchers in the world and we’ve produced treatments that are almost miraculous, but treatment requires nutrient-dense meals to truly be effective. In other words, with HIV, you need to eat to treat.
One of the most rewarding experiences I’ve had as a volunteer is serving breakfast at the Dr. Peter Centre. It’s an opportunity to meet clients face to face. I’ve discovered such a diverse group of people and seen how much they appreciate a nutritious meal and a safe place to enjoy it. I’ve served breakfast a number of times – with my partner, my friends, with donors - but my favourite time was when Shirley was there. Shirley is Dr. Peter's mother. She has always said that since her son didn't get to practice medicine, she likes to think of the Dr. Peter Centre as her practice. Shirley greets all the clients personally, remembering most by name, giving them hugs - it's something to see. One of the most important changes the Dr. Peter Centre has made in the past few years is expanding service from five days a week to every day. This keeps clients fed and better able to manage their health on weekends.
If you’ve never had the chance to serve breakfast at the Dr. Peter Centre, I encourage you to do so. It’s something so simple but it helps put things in perspective and shows you firsthand the impact your dollars have on people’s lives.