AIDS Awareness Church (UMTV)

♪ [music] ♪ (narrator) One block
off the Walk of Fame, in the heart of the Los Angeles
entertainment district, stands Hollywood United
Methodist Church. Its two huge red ribbons speak
loudly to those passing through the second busiest
intersection in the county. (Beverly Freeman) We stand for
something for a town that is very transient; that
regardless of who you are, you are welcome here. (Richard Settle) We
put it up in 1993. There were about 20 of us
that hoisted the ribbons up on the side of the tower. …and it’s a beacon to the
HIV community that they are welcome here. (narrator) That wasn’t easy in
the 1980s at the epicenter of the AIDS epidemic. (Beverly Freeman) Fear grew
and a lot of people ran, a lot of people condemned. You didn’t even want to
be in the presense of
a person with AIDS. These were good people. …good good people. (narrator) In the narthex,
near plaques honoring
those lost in war, stands one honoring the 35
people from this congregation who died from
AIDS-related illness. (Beverly Freeman) I haven’t had
any AIDS in my own family, but this is my family. It’s been awful. What a blessing it is to be
able to open the L.A. Times now and not see obituary
after obituary of a person dying of AIDS. (Kathy Cooper-Ledesma) When
we first started our AIDS ministries here at Hollywood, we
were doing a lot of triage – of just meeting
people’s basic needs. Those needs are now being met by
service providers and people are now, with new medications,
are living longer lives. [ZZZzzzZZZzzzZZZzzzZZZzzz] [chop, chop, chop…] (narrator) Once a month, a group
of volunteers prepares and gives away food to patients at the
county hospital clinic called 5p21- named after the cellular
protein destroyed by HIV. It treats more than
3,000 people a year. (April Moore) People are
waiting hours for treatment. Those people also include
kids, over 300 children who are down there. They can go all day without
having anything to eat, or a warm hug, or a smile. (Ric Loya) There’s kind of a
back area where they have what’s called the infusion clinic where
patients are being treated with IV and we can go in there and
serve the patients directly. We’ve had a few patients
who want to pray, so sure, we can pray, we’re Methodists. And we’ll go back there and
pray with some of the patients. (narrator) The AIDS ministry
also decorates teddy bears and gives up to 400
gifts to children with
HIV each Christmas. (Carolyn Berger) This is
what God wants us to do is to help everyone. It doesn’t make any difference
what color you are, what age you are, what disease you have. We’re all God’s children. (Linda Mikkelson) This church
is about do what Jesus did. And that’s what it stands for, that’s what this
church stands for.

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