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July 28, 2011

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July 28, 2011

About five years ago I was diagnose with HIV. It was the scariest thing I had ever experience. I was emotionally devastated. At that moment I made a promise to myself...that I would start my treatment right away and keep my diagnosis secret from my family and friends. I felt I needed to do so because of the feelings of shame and guilt I was consumed by. About Six months later, after starting my treatment and coming to terms with my condition. I felt a void in my heart…that somehow I was utterly alone in my journey. I knew I needed to tell my mom and my siblings. I needed them for I could no longer keep my secret, it was eating me up inside. I had no Idea how they would take it or if they would understand that I was going to be ok. A good friend told me about Life Group, and so with a heavy heart I disclosed to my family and invited them to attend a Life Group seminar that very week. I really didn't know what to expect. I simply knew from my friend that Life Group would help us get some answers. The seminar was the most amazing and healthiest thing we could have ever done as a family. We came out of it filled with HOPE, COURAGE, and INSIGHT. The entire experience was so beautiful in every way. The presenters did a great job introducing the information we needed. The Group Counseling and activities allowed us to explore our feelings and tell each other how we felt. We not only grew closer as a family but also gained more insight than we could have imagine. Life Group changed my life and for it I am a better person. It gave me the tools I needed to find inner peace. I always tell my friends about the amazing work that is done there and how valuable it is to the HIV community. I am forever grateful and will treasure the blessings of this experience until the day I die from old age. =0)

Photos

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Life Group not only helped me tell my family about my HIV status but it also filled me with much needed strenght and insight. This Organization has inspired me to talk about being HIV positive so that I can help raise awareness. I have disclosed to all my friends and have even recorded a video for a pharmaceutical company that touches on the benefits of early treatment. I learned to appreciated the importance of giving back to help others that are living in fear because of HIV.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I can't think of any changes other than having more seminars. The work that is done here is a treasure in that it changes lifes for the better. I know I am a better person for it. Now I want to give back and do my share to help others.

July 28, 2011

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July 28, 2011

The Life Program and the wonderful team members came to San Diego and I watched so many newly HIV diagnosed patients grow, learn, and feel less alone in just two short days. This is a wonderful model program that has changed many many lives.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Watching clients feel more comfortable with their diagnosis.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

continue as it is!

July 28, 2011

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July 28, 2011

I began my relationship with Life Group L.A as a client at one of the organizations Poz Life weekends. I had recently been diagnosed HIV+ and I was having difficulties with my medications and dealing with the issues of stigma and shame associated with having the virus. Nor could I embrace the attitude that having HIV was 'no big deal'. The experience opened my eyes to the possibilities of not only living with HIV successfully and happily, but living a life that was healthier than the one I had prior to being diagnosed. Life Group L.A helped put me on a life track that has since led me on many unexpected pathways. I have since taken the role of volunteer for Life Group and further became an employee of the L.A Gay & Lesbian Center in a program called Positive Images as an Outreach worker. That program augments the work of Life Group L.A by providing social support groups and education for men living with HIV. Through these two organizations I am blessed to be able to take a leading role in helping to reduce the transmission of HIV and fight the stigma and discrimination surrounding those who are living with HIV. Life is indeed amazing.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Living a healthy, happy and fullfilled life regardless of being infected with HIV

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Make none

July 28, 2011

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July 28, 2011

Life Group LA is an amazing organization that assists the HIV+ community with emotional support weekends, up to date information, and a caring and non-judgmental environment. The dedicated staff, volunteers and the astounding Sunnie all combine to be one of the most effective in Los Angeles. Long live LIFE GROUP LA!

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Fund raising.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Make sure they were better funded so that they could expand their message of non-judgmental love and assistance to other areas of California and beyond.

July 28, 2011

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July 28, 2011

I have never seen anyone more selflessly dedicated to a cause than Sunnie is with Life Group L.A. The work they do is vital to the community and she is tireless in her efforts to support those who are in need.
They run on a financial shoestring so I try and support them all I can and
enthusiastically encourage my friends to do so as well.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I've seen her work transform the lives of people

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Create a broader base of support for the group.

July 17, 2011

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July 17, 2011

Being HIV- and having a partner that is HIV+ presents challenges both physically, mentally and emotionally. The LifeGroupLA has been there in several supportive ways:
- By providing an HIV- Group (for those with HIV+ partners) where discussion and exchange of thoughts and ideas are safe to
explore.
- By presenting the Poz Life Weekend that is empowering, educational and filled with love and support.
It is a wonderful volunteer driven organization where I am also proud to be a supporter both financially and in fundraising efforts.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Received support in groups and programs.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Try to get more youth (18 to 30+) involved.

July 17, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
July 17, 2011

The Life Group LA provides a safe and nurturing haven for people who are HIV positive as well as support for their friends, family, partners, and loved ones.
As a professional who works in the HIV/AIDS community, I use The Life Group LA as my primary referral source for clients who are dealing
with the daily issues of being HIV positive.
This group provides education from the leaders in the field of HIV medicine ( Dr. Michael Gotleib, Dr Eric Darr), supportive resources for legal and alternative care, and a nurturing environment for personal discovery and self-growth.

Videos

John Sovec, Psychotherapist on the Life Group LA

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

The like changing experience of their Poz Life Weekend

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

expand the locations that they currently serve

More feedback...

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

What is unique about this organization?

There ability to respond quickly to the needs of the HIV/AIDS community, the commitment of the volunteers, the dedication of the Executive Director, and the heart of the organization

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

July 17, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
July 17, 2011

I was introduced for the first time as a program participant in 1991. I was ill and it gave me hope, in not only figuring out how to live with my disease, but more importantly how I could help improve the world around me. During the 90s, I reffered people from an array of different backgrounds to the program as a necessary step in managing and living with their disease. Later, in the early part of 2000 I somehow found my way back to the program and started to volunteer as a speaker, helping to guide people through that which I had discovered from participating in the program soo many years prior. I have continued to donate my time and resources to this program as I have seen it change life, as it has changed mine! I continue to refer people and individuals to this program passionately as I believe the work in creating change and providing hope in the discovery of ones disease can be life giving when soo much seems hopeless and helpless.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I continue to see the ripple of my participation in the program improving the quality of life around me and in my community. I understand the value of being of service to people in need, as I understand how greatly I appreciate it when it avails itself to me.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I would figure out away in finding how to fund the program and raise money for the program, to give it legs to cover the entire Southern California Basin. I would try to figure out a way to give it some full time paid support staff too!

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

What one change could this group make that would improve your volunteer experience?

I would volunteer if it had more opportunity to do so...

Did your volunteer experience have an effect on you? (teaching you a new skill, or introducing new friends, etc.)

I was once told, if you can't bring your intended home to meet your parents you probably shouldn't be managing the relationship. I can't think of anyone including family and the dearest of friends and loved ones that I would not recommend this program too! I believe the program has a model that would work for other disease too!

How did this volunteer experience make you feel?

The program empowered me when I time that I felt like throwing in the towel. I couldn't find will, or purpose, the program provided me with options and how I could reach out and get involved as I became ready. I did and I felt wonderful and continue to feel as if I am making a difference everyday of my life...

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

July 14, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
July 14, 2011

I have worked with Sunnie and the wonderful Life Group LA staff for the past couple of years. I have seen them touch the lives of hundreds of people living with HIV/AIDS, and their impact cannot be underestimated. The weekend seminars offer education, support, and an amazing environment. I have seen these events enrich the lives of the newly diganosed, and those who have been living positive for years. I would recomend The Life Group LA for those living with HIV/AIDS, those looking to volunteer for an amazing organization, and also for those looking to see their donation dollars go far. I highyl recomend all aspects of The Life Group LA!

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I have worked with several clients who have attended workshops and all of them have experienced positive life changes as a result of their participation.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Get more people to fund them!

July 14, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
July 14, 2011

I have been involved with The Life Group for over four years now. The weekend seminars are amazing, insightful and thought provoking! They cover such a huge amount of information: Holistic approaches to living with HIV, Insurance and Public Benefits, Disclosure, Art Therapy, Yoga, just to name a few. The guest speakers are awesome and five you so much information. I found this weekend life changing and would suggest everyone to attend that is infected or affected with HIV.
This is an organization with more heart and passion than I have ever been involved with and has changed my life for the better.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

All aspects of my life

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Not do a thing, they know what they are doing and do it well with passion and heart

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