Improving the quality of life for children in Georgia affected by HIV/AIDS... We don't just fundraise, we change lives.
Starting from a small but ambitious dream of University of Georgia students Garrett Gravesen and Ryan Gembala nine years ago, UGA HEROs has taken the campus by storm.
From Organization of the Year 2005, 2007, 2008 AND 2009 to just recently reaching over a MILLION DOLLARS in fund-raising for H.E.R.O. for Children, UGA HEROs has demonstrated what dedication, hard work, and enthusiasm can accomplish.
Our love for the kids and our passion to make a difference fuels our organization, and with each smile and each hug we know that we are helping improve the lives of these children.
UGA HEROs Highlights:
•The largest collegiate Fall Philanthropy in Georgia.
•Collected more than 10,000 HERO Red Ribbons in support of our cause and was recognized by Governor Sonny Perdue on World AIDS Day
•In 2005 won “Outstanding Campus Event” for the HERO Olympics
•In 2008, we raised over $363,000, in just a year.
•UGA HEROs has over 2,000 student members.
•Were chosen as the 2005, 2007, 2008 AND 2009 Campus Organization of the Year... the first ever to receive the award 2 years in a row!
•We have raised over $1 MILLION for H.E.R.O. for Children. Inc. since its start in 2003, the first student organization at UGA to ever raise that amount in its first 6 years!
A little more about who we are:
UGA HEROs was created from the vision of two students who had separate experiences working with AIDS orphans internationally. Former student body president Garrett Gravesen lived in Kenya his final summer before graduating and witnessed one of the children he worked with lose his battle to the disease while he was there. Later, AIESEC UGA president Ryan Gembala spent time in Brazil at an AIDS orphanage and worked with children throughout the summer.
The two UGA students came together before graduating and created the idea of UGA HEROs. The organization would become UGA's first on-campus fall philanthropy and would raise money for children in Georgia affected by the disease.
The two would later go on to create H.E.R.O. for Children, Inc. --the only non-profit organization in the State of Georgia solely dedicated to improving the quality of life for children infected with and affected by HIV/AIDS.
Today, UGA HEROs is the fall wide philanthropy that raises money to support H.E.R.O. for Children, Inc. and provide Quality of Life programs for children affected by HIV/AIDS in Georgia. UGA HEROs rallies students across campus in a year long fundraiser that culminates in a grand finale at the HERO Olympics--an event for these children and UGA students to see where all money raised goes to support. UGA HEROs works closely with the UGA football team, Athletic Association, and Head Football Coach Mark Richt and has become the largest collegiate fall philanthropy in the State of Georgia raising more than $1,000,000 for children affected by HIV/AIDS.
•There are over 12,000 children in Georgia affected by HIV/AIDs
•Georgia has the 8th highest number of Pediatric AIDS cases in the US
•50% of HERO children have lost one or both parents to AIDS cases
•90% of children come from households whose yearly income does not exceed $10,000
•There are 500 organizations in Georgia working with HIV/AIDS
•Only 12 work with Children (2.5%): housing, food, medicine, basic needs
In our society, 50.4% of people still believe you can get AIDS from being coughed on by a person with AIDS.(UC-Davis Psych.,1999). With 9,000 Children in our state affected by HIV/AIDS, HERO is the Bridge connecting the community with these children and reducing common stigma & stereotypes.
We are the one and only organization raising money for these children and everything that goes above and beyond their basic needs of food, housing, and medicine. We also serve to bring the community together to reduce stigma and stereotypes associated with this disease.