UGA HEROs

UGA HEROs 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.
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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. The Facts: •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.

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. The Facts: •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.

Mission: UGA HEROs strives to improve the Quality of Life of children infected with and affected by HIV/AIDS in Georgia through student support at the University level.

Operating as usual

HEROs is back! Just like everyone else in the world, we’re putting 2020 behind us and starting fresh in 2021. In order t...
01/01/2021

HEROs is back!

Just like everyone else in the world, we’re putting 2020 behind us and starting fresh in 2021. In order to make change this year, we need to be the change.

As our kids face the stigma surrounding HIV/AIDS, they also continue to fight against the forces of racial injustice. This year we are prioritizing diversity and inclusion by expanding our organizational programs, outreach efforts and media content to further meet the needs of our kids.

This year is also all about the WOW. We pride ourselves on our unique cause as well as our unique members. In 2021, our members are ready to go above and beyond in order to change lives!

We are so excited for 2021 and are looking forward to the opportunity to be the change.

UGA HEROs's cover photo
01/01/2021

UGA HEROs's cover photo

12/01/2020
Fighting for a world free from stigma.

We're fighting for a world free from HIV/AIDS stigma by educating our university community so they can take that knowlege with them wherever they go. Join us this #GivingTuesday & #WorldAIDSDay in supporting our student powered movement.

ugaheros.org/donate

Today is #GivingTuesday AND #WorldAIDSDay.To commemorate this special intersection of days, we're asking our friends and...
12/01/2020

Today is #GivingTuesday AND #WorldAIDSDay.

To commemorate this special intersection of days, we're asking our friends and family to join us in supporting UGA HEROs, a student-run non-profit at the University of Georgia working to provide quality of life care for children infected and affected by HIV/AIDS.

As the year comes to a close, we're hoping to close out this year of adaptation and resilience by asking our friends and family support us one more time.

Today, Facebook is matching the first $2M donations in support of #GivingTuesday and we hope you'll support us on this day of giving!

Thank you so much to everyone who donated and fundraised for Give a Kid a Gift Day this year! Together, we raised $31,71...
11/30/2020

Thank you so much to everyone who donated and fundraised for Give a Kid a Gift Day this year! Together, we raised $31,716 in 24 hours for our HEROs children to receive wanted and needed gifts this holiday season.

The raffle basket entries are closing at 8 pm tonight! Be sure to buy your raffle tickets if you haven't already.
11/19/2020

The raffle basket entries are closing at 8 pm tonight! Be sure to buy your raffle tickets if you haven't already.

You can start supporting our Give a Kid a Gift Day fundraiser now by entering to win one of these raffle baskets! Check out our story to see all that is in both of these baskets and pick which one you want.

How to Enter:
1. Tickets are $3 and anyone can enter by Venmoing @ugaheros, tagging 2 people in the comments of our Instagram post, and specifying “Go Dawgs or I Love Athens raffle basket” in your Venmo payment
2. If you would like a HEROs member to receive credit for your raffle payment, please include their name in your Venmo payment
3. All members that reach their Give a Kid a Gift Day fundraising goal by midnight on the 19th will receive two additional entries.
4. The top three fundraisers for each member category will also receive three additional entries

The winner will be announced on our Instagram and Facebook stories at 10 pm on Friday, November 20th.

11/19/2020
Carole Baskin for HEROs

Hey all you cool cats & kittens 🐯🦁 Carole Baskin wants you to reach your fundraising goal today to give our awesome HEROs kids a merry and bright holiday season!⛄️🎄Why are you raising money for our kids this Give a Kid a Gift Day? Let us know in the comments!

To kick off our Spotlight on Stigma week, we’re featuring the inspiring story of accomplished Olympic diver, Greg Lougan...
11/16/2020
Spotlight on Stigma: Living Beyond the Gold

To kick off our Spotlight on Stigma week, we’re featuring the inspiring story of accomplished Olympic diver, Greg Louganis. In the 90s, he broke barriers in diving and in the stigma surrounding being HIV positive. To read more about Louganis’s life, accomplishments, and how he overcame a diagnosis that was considered a death sentence at the time, check out our blog:

Four Olympic Gold Medals, one Olympic Silver Medal, five Gold World Championship Medals, six Pan American Games Gold Medals and two Summer Universiade Gold Medals-- these are just a few of diver Greg Louganis's accomplishments. Greg Louganis was born in El Cajon, California on January 29, 1960 and w...

11/15/2020
Give a Kid a Gift Day Video

Give a Kid a Gift Day is our last fundraiser of the year, and the perfect opportunity for you to go the extra mile in your fundraising. In a year marked by tragedy and hardship, HEROs has found countless ways to persevere and keep our operations at full force. We want to ensure that this effort continues until the very end of the semester.

For some, this may be your first time asking for donations and for others, you may have been reaching out to friends and family for years. Either way, we know that you can reach your fundraising goals and ultimately give HEROs children the gift of joy this holiday season.

You can start supporting our Give a Kid a Gift Day fundraiser now by entering to win one of these raffle baskets! Check ...
11/14/2020

You can start supporting our Give a Kid a Gift Day fundraiser now by entering to win one of these raffle baskets! Check out our story to see all that is in both of these baskets and pick which one you want.

How to Enter:
1. Tickets are $3 and anyone can enter by Venmoing @ugaheros, tagging 2 people in the comments of our Instagram post, and specifying “Go Dawgs or I Love Athens raffle basket” in your Venmo payment
2. If you would like a HEROs member to receive credit for your raffle payment, please include their name in your Venmo payment
3. All members that reach their Give a Kid a Gift Day fundraising goal by midnight on the 19th will receive two additional entries.
4. The top three fundraisers for each member category will also receive three additional entries

The winner will be announced on our Instagram and Facebook stories at 10 pm on Friday, November 20th.

It is officially that time of the year again for our annual Give a Kid a Gift Day. Each holiday season, HEROs asks its m...
11/09/2020

It is officially that time of the year again for our annual Give a Kid a Gift Day. Each holiday season, HEROs asks its members to raise $100; $50 in order to give a kid one gift they want and $50 to give them one gift they need. Given the financial hardships that our kids face since 96% of their households make less than $10,000 a year, we are excited to have the opportunity to help make our kid’s holiday season a bit more merry and bright! Be on the lookout for more ways to get involved with this fundraiser.

11/07/2020
Thank a Donor Day Video

We are so thankful for all of our donors; without their help we would not be able to do what we do for our kids. To show our gratitude, we held our first ever Thank a Donor Day this past Thursday in order to take some time to show our generous donors and alumni how important they are to us.

HEROs members used to walk from Athens to Atlanta for Torch Relay, but the annual Torch Relay turned into a virtual 5k t...
10/27/2020
Revamped Torch Relay

HEROs members used to walk from Athens to Atlanta for Torch Relay, but the annual Torch Relay turned into a virtual 5k this year to make the event safer for participants. Even though Torch got revamped for 2020, HEROs still managed to bring their donor, member, and support communities together through the event. Check out our blog to learn more:

https://www.ugaheros.org/post/revamped-torch-relay

HEROs is back with our annual Torch Relay event! Traditionally, Torch Relay is an event where HEROs members walk from Atlanta to Athens in honor of our kids. But this year, it looked a little different. This was our first ever Torch Relay Virtual 5K. HEROs decided to change Torch Relay to a 5K in or...

Our first ever virtual Torch Relay 5K was a huge success. Thank you to our members, ambassadors, and sponsors for making...
10/21/2020

Our first ever virtual Torch Relay 5K was a huge success. Thank you to our members, ambassadors, and sponsors for making this 5K possible!

Photos from UGA HEROs's post
10/19/2020

Photos from UGA HEROs's post

There may only be one day left of Torch Relay, but our Greatest of the Greeks competition lasts until the end of this we...
10/19/2020

There may only be one day left of Torch Relay, but our Greatest of the Greeks competition lasts until the end of this week! Each fraternity and sorority can earn points by liking their own graphic on our page and registering members! The organization that has the most points by October 25th will win a prize for their chapter.

Looking for more opportunities to get more involved with Torch Relay? You can sign up to be an ambassador! Our ambassado...
10/13/2020

Looking for more opportunities to get more involved with Torch Relay? You can sign up to be an ambassador! Our ambassadors carry the torch across campus by recruiting more people to sign up for our 5K.
Gold Ambassadors recruit 15 people
Silver Ambassadors recruit 10 people
Bronze Ambassadors recruit 5 people
Ambassadors are rewarded money that goes toward their GiveButter total based on the number of people recruited.

Yesterday, we celebrated not only a UGA football win but World Mental Health Day. Globally, millions of people are affec...
10/11/2020
How a Diagnosis Can Affect Mental Health

Yesterday, we celebrated not only a UGA football win but World Mental Health Day. Globally, millions of people are affected by some sort of mental health disorder and HEROs is committed to promoting mental well-being to our members and our kids. You can learn more about mental disorders and how it affects people, especially those with HIV/AIDS, in our blog:

Mental health is a serious global issue. According to a 2017 study from Hannah Ritchie and Max Roser, 792 million people around the world live with a mental health disorder. Mental health disorders can affect anyone, including those who are HIV positive. Maintaining good mental health is essential i...

In 1996, the Olympics came to Atlanta, Georgia. For the first time in Atlanta’s history, people from all over the world ...
10/04/2020

In 1996, the Olympics came to Atlanta, Georgia. For the first time in Atlanta’s history, people from all over the world were tuning in. They were giving their attention, their minds, and their hearts to the city that our kids call home.

Now, 24 years later, UGA HEROs is asking you to do the same. While Torch Relay may look different this year, our passion burns just as bright.

We're inviting you to light the torch with us at GiveButter.com/Torch5K on October 18th.

It is officially the First Day of Fall! Fall is a very important time for HEROs with events such as Torch Relay, Olympic...
09/22/2020
How To Get Lucky With Letters

It is officially the First Day of Fall! Fall is a very important time for HEROs with events such as Torch Relay, Olympics, and our semi-annual Letter Writing Campaign! This campaign is one of our largest and most successful fundraisers of the year and allows us to engage with our donors! You can read about some of our letter writing tips in our blog:

It’s that time of year again….. our letter writing campaign! Every year, HEROs participates in a letter writing campaign where we send out letters that explain our organization’s cause. Everyone participates-- from the executive director, to the child relations committee member. It’s one of ...

Recruitment looked a little different this year, however, we were able to come up with digital strategies that were just...
09/15/2020
Going Digital

Recruitment looked a little different this year, however, we were able to come up with digital strategies that were just as effective to spread our cause and attract our newest members! To read more about our virtual recruitment as well as changes for this coming semester, check out our blog!

https://www.ugaheros.org/post/going-digital

Welcome back folks! Although things look a little different this year, it feels so good to be back. And back to school, means back to recruitment! Due to COVID-19, HEROs had to come up with an entirely new recruitment strategy from previous years. Usually, HEROs spends about a week and a half tablin...

09/02/2020
Introduction Video

HEROs unites hundreds of students across campus to fight for our cause. No matter how you choose to get involved in HEROs, there is a place for you to stand alongside our kids in their battle with HIV/AIDs. Find out more at our Fall Kickoff tonight at 7 PM!

09/01/2020
Teams

Another opportunity for you to find your home on campus is through our Campus and Greek Teams! Teams spend the semester preparing for Olympics, focusing each week on different aspects of HEROs as an organization while getting to know one another and their Team Leader.

08/31/2020
Emerging First Years

One of three ways you can get involved this semester is with Emerging First Years. EFY is an introductory program for #UGA24 as a way to develop leadership skills and establish a foothold in HEROs through giving back to our cause and our kids.

New look. Same mission.
08/31/2020

New look. Same mission.

#GIVEAWAY ALERT! UGA HEROs is giving away a basket full of items all about Athens featuring:•JCG apparel t-shirt•Sugar C...
08/30/2020

#GIVEAWAY ALERT!
UGA HEROs is giving away a basket full of items all about Athens featuring:
•JCG apparel t-shirt
•Sugar Cilantro bleach dyed t-shirt
•Georgia Corkcicle tumbler
•$50 gift certificate to Tan Athens
•gift cards to Athens Chick-Fil-A

Rules:
1) Fill out our application at ugaheros.org/join

2) Repost the giveaway basket to your Instagram story

3) Tag a friend in the comments on our Instagram post!

The winner will be announced at our virtual Kickoff on Wednesday, September 2.
Good luck!

08/27/2020

We are taking a break from recruitment to stand in solidarity with the Jacob Blake and his family. While this is not the first incident, and unfortunately won’t be the last, we have a responsibility to our kids, as well as our alumni, members, and friends to expand on our commitment to advocating for racial justice.

HEROs was founded to represent a marginalized community, those that are infected or affected by HIV/AIDS, which comes with certain stigma and assumptions that no kid should have to live with. Given that the vast majority of the children we serve are Black, the forces they are up against, from such a young age, are systemic and wide reaching.

There are three different ways you can get involved in HEROs!-Committees work in conjunction with the Executive Board to...
08/26/2020

There are three different ways you can get involved in HEROs!

-Committees work in conjunction with the Executive Board to plan and execute events, fundraisers, and initiatives to support our kids and our cause.
-Teams prepare throughout the semester for the Olympics at the end of October, where each team goes head to head in a field day style event. Each week, teams focus on a new subject and fundraiser while getting to know each other.
-Emerging First Years is a leadership initiative for #UGA24 to prepare for impact and service in giving back to the community and University by learning from leaders inside and outside of HEROs.

Calling all HEROs! Our Fall recruitment officially begins this week and we could not be more excited! We have been (virt...
08/24/2020

Calling all HEROs! Our Fall recruitment officially begins this week and we could not be more excited! We have been (virtually) putting in lots of work to make this our most successful recruitment yet! Find your new family on campus and join HEROs now: https://www.ugaheros.org/join!

There’s less than a week left until we’re back in the Classic City! We’re so excited to start classes and see what the y...
08/14/2020

There’s less than a week left until we’re back in the Classic City! We’re so excited to start classes and see what the year holds for HEROs!

#HOWHhighlightHanging Out with HEROs is a yearly mentorship program in which mentors get paired up with one of our kids ...
07/30/2020

#HOWHhighlight
Hanging Out with HEROs is a yearly mentorship program in which mentors get paired up with one of our kids and partake in a fun, engaging activity with them once a month. Our HOWH mentor feature for this month goes out to one of our new mentors, Olivia Morris!

Below is a quote of why Olivia chose to be a mentor:
“As a pre-med student, I want to one day be able to lobby for and invest in medically underserved and disadvantaged communities. I heard about HEROs through a friend and was truly moved by the message of the organization. I immediately wanted to become involved and knew mentoring was a great way to forge meaningful relationships with the kids. I hope to always make my mentee feel valued, loved, and accepted.”

#meet2020execMeet the Member Relations Family! (in row order left to right) Lauren Craig: Director of Member Relations S...
07/28/2020

#meet2020exec
Meet the Member Relations Family!

(in row order left to right)
Lauren Craig: Director of Member Relations
Sydney Briner: Sorority Relations Chair
Pierce Pittman: WOW/Recruitment Chair
Olivia Barnes: Campus Relations Chair
Pearce Buxton: Member Engagement Chair
(not pictured)
Will Griffin: Fraternity Relations Chair

“The Member Relations Family is responsible for being the face of UGA HEROs through a lot of our member groups such as Teams and Freshmen Council. We play the vital role in creating bonds with people all across campus in order to spread our mission through recruitment and creating a strong community centered around quality of life for our kids.”
-Lauren Craig

#meet2020execMeet the Communications Family!(in row order left to right)Rylie Geraci: Public Relations ChairKali Dangar:...
07/19/2020

#meet2020exec
Meet the Communications Family!

(in row order left to right)
Rylie Geraci: Public Relations Chair
Kali Dangar: Director of Communications
Morgan West: Media Chair
Adriana Dale: Child Relations Chair
(not pictured)
Ellery Payne: Creative Content Chair

“Being a part of the Communications Family is so special because we all work together to be the voice of HEROs on all public platforms. Every member of the family plays a crucial role in promoting the UGA HEROs mission and events so we can successfully fundraise!”
-Kali Dangar

It's not too late to buy tickets for Fuel Hot Yoga’s virtual HIIT Pilates class benefitting UGA HEROs on Tuesday, July 1...
07/13/2020

It's not too late to buy tickets for Fuel Hot Yoga’s virtual HIIT Pilates class benefitting UGA HEROs on Tuesday, July 14th! Tickets are $10 and 100% of the proceeds support us! You can buy your tickets now using this link: https://www.fuelhotyoga.com/schedule

Once you click on the link, select Live Stream Class Schedule, and from there you can book the 2 PM HIIT Pilates Class benefitting UGA HEROs.

Address

Athens, GA
30604

General information

One of the largest organizations on the University of Georgia campus with over 2,000 student members, UGA HEROs fundraises throughout the year to provide quality of life programs for the 12,000 kids in Georgia infected with and affected by HIV/AIDS. Our parent organization is H.E.R.O. (Hearts Everywhere Reaching Out) for Children located in Atlanta, Georgia. Want more information? Email us at [email protected] or contact one of our Board of Directors: Ronna Rowland, Executive Director: [email protected] Dana Cox, Director of Operations: [email protected] Garrett Riba, Director of External: [email protected] Hannah Couch, Director of Internal: [email protected] Jonathan Brown, Director of Development: [email protected] Amanda Detraz: Director of Events: [email protected]

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Contact The University

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Videos

Our Story

There are approximately 51,350 people living in Georgia with HIV. We are a student-run organization fundraising to improve the quality of life for the kids in Georgia infected with and affected by HIV/AIDS.

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Comments

Hey guys - can anyone send me a picture of that light blue tshirt that was laying on your desk before you moved out? I was trying to tell someone about it. THANKS!