There a lot of different causes, different needs out there, especially this year with the devastating weather, hurricanes and floods in so many places. This is one that is near and dear to my heart, the place I've worked for over 25 years now.
It's been over 15 years since Katrina devastated NO/AIDS and New Orleans. Over those challenging years, NO/AIDS has been able to not only re-build all the services we had before the storm but offer many more needed programs. We're doing a lot better, but can always use your help. We have greatly expanded our services, including offering community health care, dental care, ob/gyn care and are recognized for our LGBTQ services. We have clinics specifically for the transgender community.
Over the last few years we have embarked on an exciting new phase of service to the community--in August, 2014, we opened a clinic that provides primary medical care, including health and wellness services such as nutritional counseling and behavioral health. We've moved beyond HIV care. While open to anyone who wants to enter our door, insured or not, one of our focuses is to provide welcoming and knowledgeable care to the LGBTQ community, including, in partnership with LSU, providing comprehensive Sexual Wellness services.
While New Orleans is not only recovering, but roaring back, we still face many challenges--one of them being a poor city with one of the highest rates of HIV per capita in the country--2nd only behind Baton Rouge. We've been in the top ten cities for rates of infection since before Katrina. Louisiana also has some of the highest rates of STDs in the nation.
Many of you know me as J.M. Redmann, writer of the Micky Knight mystery series. Some of you may know me as R. Jean Reid, author of the Nell McGraw series. CrescentCare-NO/AIDS is my day job. I'd love to write full-time, but unless and until that happens, I'm privileged to work at a job that matters, with people I like and respect and, who I have witnessed day after day go the extra mile--taking extra time with a client, being out late at night because that's how we reach people, traveling to the 'not nice' neighborhoods because everyone matters.
I'm even willing to provide incentives:
The next Micky Knight book, NOT DEAD ENOUGH, will be released in November. it's in the final proofing process now. For those of you who have donated in the past, yes, your names are in the book. Thank you for your support! (You're good and don't need to donate again, although it is a tax deduction if you'd like one.)
$25 - An emailed 1st chapter of the Micky Knight book coming out in November. OR the first chapter of the next Micky Knight book (umm, no, not written yet, but in the cogitation stage). It'll be out when I finish writing it . . . yeah, maybe late 2020. Or if you'd prefer, the 1st chapter of the next Nell McGraw book, also titled Next Book. It is mostly written, but no publication date since the publisher of the first two shut down their entire mystery line (I wasn't just me, I promise).
$50 - Hard copy signed one of the first chapter above, signed personally to you.
$100 - The previous incentives and YOUR NAME (or one of your choosing, as long as it doesn't get me in legal trouble) in the to be written Micky Knight or Nell McGraw books as a character. No guarantee, but I'll do my best to honor requests such as not to be a villain, etc.
Coming to New Orleans? How about a Sazerac (or other beverage of your choice) on me? Yep, I'll meet your for a drink, buy a round and regale you with tales of city, or talk about Micky Knight's New Orleans.
$300 - The complete manuscript for one of these two books. Not quite sure when I'll have the Micky Knight one done as it's not really started yet. Nell McGraw is close and you might be one of the few people to read it given it's publishing limbo.
I'm asking you to support us because HIV/AIDS, and all health issues, are still an important battle to win, and because I know where the money goes and what it supports--life-saving services for those who most need them. Whatever you can do, small or large, matters more than I can say.