NEW ORLEANS – Cable Positive, the cable and telecommunications industry’s AIDS action organization, made tangible impacts on some of the nation’s hardest hit AIDS organizations during The Cable Show here, with some significant help from its cable friends.
Working throughout the days leading up to the show, Cable Positive staff along with industry volunteers from Cable Industry power houses NBC Universal and SES Americom combined efforts in the revitalization of Project Lazarus and Kent House. The efforts were capped by a special art donation by Rainbow Media Holdings CEO Josh Sapan.
Cable Positive staff started their outreach by helping to rebuild a damaged food pantry andkitchen for NO/AIDS. NO/AIDS is the region’s oldest and largest comprehensive AIDS service organization, providing case management, housing and primary medical care to those who are HIV infected and affected.
Their kitchen and food pantry were left badly damaged and unusable in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Cable Positive staff helped to re-model and construct their new kitchen facility (housed in the Universalist Unitarian Church) by hanging dry-wall and helping to clean the construction site.
At Project Lazarus and Kent House, both homes for people living with HIV/AIDS, nearly 100 volunteers comprised of a combined force of activists from NBC Universal, SES Americom, Cable Positive Board Members, and industry employees, assisted staff at both organizations with a variety of tasks including landscaping, painting, cleaning, cooking, and social interaction with the residents.
The entire team, more than 70 volunteers, from NBC Universal’s TV Networks Distribution group came together when Bridget Baker, the division’s president, made the decision to forgo a scheduled network sales meeting and instead involve her division in this important volunteer effort. Baker and her team spent the day beautifying Project Lazarus and Kent House with landscaping, painting and overall refurbishing.
"Project Lazarus and Kent House are doing amazing and meaningful work. It was our privilege to assist their efforts, and those of Cable Positive's, during our time at the Cable Show,” Baker said. “We were touched by the people we met, and felt a wonderful sense of accomplishment and community involvement to be a part of the cable industry’s efforts to give back to New Orleans in this important way."
A gift of 35 pieces of art came from Rainbow Media CEO Josh Sapan’s personal collection of “discarded art” on Sunday, May 18. The “discarded art” (rescued art from sidewalks, art schools, and even yard sales) was displayed in an exhibit created by local artists who have lived/currently reside at Project Lazarus/Kent House. All of the pieces were distributed throughout the organization’s residential facilities for decorative purposes.
“I am continually astounded by the unwavering support the cable industry has to the fight against HIV/AIDS,” Cable Positive CEO Steve Villano said in a statement. “With the help of NBC Universal, SES Americom and Josh Sapan, we’ve accomplished a great feat of direct volunteer action to help rebuild these organizations, who are so vital to a community that is still feeling the aftershocks of Hurricane Katrina.”