PositiveVOICE was originally formed in late 1997. The organization was the first and only statewide coalition of People Living with HIV/AIDS (PLHAs) in the State of Washington.
A Board of Directors coalesced in the first months of the following year, and the group began to plan an ambitious program of self-advocacy training, workshops, a newsletter, and other services. Despite the best efforts of the organization, long-term financial support was elusive. In time, the organization was reduced to a core of several individuals who held onto the vision that people who live with the disease on a daily basis have a unique perspective about the services they utilize and the organizations that provide them. In time, those who had been most closely involved in the attempt to form this Coalition went on to serve as critically important staff and volunteers in the fight against HIV and AIDS here in Washington.
The organization known as PositiveVoice survived
in a near limbo until 2003, when work to re-organize under a revised
was undertaken. PositiveVOICE’s
new focus is presented here.
PositiveVOICE assists in recruiting, empowering, and honoring the thousands of volunteers who do HIV/AIDS Prevention and Care work in the state of Washington. Our programs and services meet the needs of individual volunteers, and of the many groups and organizations that utilize them as cost-efficient staff, Board members, consumer/community representatives, peer advocates, fundraisers, and in the many other capacities in which volunteers help in the fight against HIV/AIDS.
In the pursuit of this mission, we create, deliver, and evaluate programs and services that meet identified needs.
We believe the process of empowering volunteers requires TLC: appropriate and timely Training, easy access to a Library of critical resources, and the proactive creation of a safe and diverse Community.
In addition to undertaking statewide Needs Assessment Surveys, we will develop new programs and services, re-package existing resources, and assist the HIV/AIDS volunteer community in finding and using its voice in the HIV/AIDS public policy arena.
Our Core Beliefs
HIV/AIDS Volunteers in the State of Washington, and the groups and organizations that use their services, are the focus of PositiveVOICE Washington.
We are founded on the principle that Volunteers are indispensable in the fight against HIV and AIDS. Many of these Volunteers are themselves living with HIV/AIDS (PLHAs) and we believe these PLHA Volunteers are among the world’s leading experts in identifying the need for HIV/AIDS services, designing and implementing programs that meet those needs, and in evaluating the effectiveness of such programs.
Every person serving as a Volunteer in this fight requires access to the best possible know-how
to reach their personal and volunteer-work goals, and is deserving of the very best we can offer in the way of "care and feeding." We want our own organization's volunteer program to serve as a model to others.
We have two primary constituencies, the first being the thousands across the state who do some kind of volunteer work in the fight against HIV/AIDS. The second is comprised of the Volunteer Program Managers at the many agencies where these volunteers do their work.
HIV/AIDS Volunteers serve in many capacities in the continuum of HIV/AIDS prevention and care services. They include members of:
In many cases State and Federal law mandate the participation of PLHA and other Volunteers in these groups, but fail to provide resources to address the informational, skill, and support needs of these members.
have had limited resources with which to network, share best practices,
common strategies and solutions. They have no common resource guide,
no ability to meet and confer and -- for the most part - do not know
even who each other are, outside of their own group or organization. This is because the groups that use these Volunteers rarely if ever
meet in joint sessions. PositiveVoice seeks to alter this landscape
radically. We will provide no agenda, but rather will provide mechanisms
that enable HIV/AIDS Volunteers to develop and pursue their own agenda(s).
How to Become Involved
PositiveVOICE is seeking candidates for its Board of Directors and to assist in mounting our first statewide Needs Assessment Survey of HIV/AIDS Volunteers. PLHAs are encouraged to apply. A majority of the current PositiveVOICE Board is HIV+.
As the governing entity of a Nonprofit Corporation, our Board members have the responsibility to develop and adopt strategic plans, set organizational policy, and oversee all fiscal activities. Prior Board service is not a requirement, but a solid understanding of the roles and responsibilities that normally fall upon Board members is important. Youth, seniors, and persons of color are especially encouraged to apply.
Anyone interested in a Board position should send a letter of interest along with Resume or C. V. to: Jim@PositiveVOICE.org.
Other volunteer openings are posted at VolunteerMatch.