YouthAIDS World AIDS Day “Kick Me” campaign
15/11 to 15/12/2006
ABOUT THE CAMPAIGN 2006 is an important year – this year marks the 25th anniversary of the first HIV diagnosis. Today, more than 40 million people are infected with HIV and AIDS, and nearly 50% of all new infections are among youth. Without a cure, awareness is the key to stopping the spread of AIDS. Kick Me serves as a vehicle to help reduce stigma, start conversations, educate people and encourage the youth of the world today to take a stand for the health and future of their generation. Be part of the movement on World AIDS Day 2006, and help us make a difference. There are 40 million reasons, but you only need one. Join the fight. HOW DOES IT WORK Each individual gets sponsorships and donations to wear a sign on their back on December 1st 2006. There is no race to run, or track to walk, just go about your day as usual, it’s that easy! TEAM CHALLENGE Individuals can form teams - we recommend teams of ten with a team goal of $1000 (each individual raising $100). But teams can be as small as two! Each team member is asked to raise money by securing flat donations or sponsorships per hour prior to December 1st from friends, family and businesses. If you are part of a team of ten, simply find 10 sponsors to donate $1 per hour and wear the sign for 10 hours.
— Ever fallen victim to a prank? YouthAIDS, an action-based initiative implemented by Population Services International (PSI) in partnership with corporate sponsors the Levi’s® brand and Virgin Unite, the charitable arm of Virgin, today turned an infamous hoax into a powerful public message with the launch of the “Kick Me” campaign. “Kick Me” is a national, grassroots, student-led campaign to increase awareness of HIV / AIDS among youth in the U.S., reducing infection-related stigma and opening a constructive dialogue among young people.
The “Kick Me” campaign is based on the old prank of someone sticking a Kick Me sign on another’s back without their knowledge – just like 90% of those infected HIV/AIDS may not know they are carrying HIV. YouthAIDS is turning that practical joke into a practical lesson.
“With the help of celebrities like Ludacris and Emmy Rossum, we’re calling on young people across the country to do something radical and simple to fight the spread of HIV/AIDS,” said YouthAIDS Founder & Director Kate Roberts.
Beginning today, students will register at www.youthaids.org and ask friends and family to sponsor them on December 1st, World AIDS Day, when they will wear signs on their backs communicating facts about HIV / AIDS, promoting HIV testing, and encouraging people to support YouthAIDS programs. Funds raised by “Kick Me” will go towards enhancing existing YouthAIDS programs in nations throughout the world, like voluntary counseling and testing services in Rwanda, food provision in Botswana and abstinence awareness campaigns in Zambia.
To spread the word about “Kick Me,” YouthAIDS ambassador Chris “Ludacris” Bridges will travel the country, speaking with students to promote the campaign. In addition, a number of national and global youth groups, including Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity, College Democrats, Americans for Informed Democracy, and the global social networking organization, www.YouthNoise.com, will also work to raise awareness about “Kick Me.” Virgin Mobile USA is also teamed up and offering its 4 million customers the opportunity to text “FIGHT” to a special shortcode and automatically donate money toward the cause. The Levi’s® brand will host a special offer during November 29 and December 1for every purchase made on levisstore.com, $5.01 will benefit YouthAIDS.
Ludacris will begin his cross-country tour to increase student participation in the “Kick Me” Campaign with a school visit in California on November 28th where he will be joined by Emmy Rossum. “Young people need to know about HIV before it is too late – or else they will be kicking themselves,” said Ludacris. “They need to protect themselves and one another.”
During the tour, Ludacris will also visit the Virgin Megastore in Chicago. In addition to providing fundraising rewards for registered participants, the companies will launch cause-related marketing campaigns and donation drives to support YouthAIDS grassroots programs in the US around the world.
HOW TO PARTICIPATE
1. Visit www.youthaids.org and register today.
2. Download your Kick Me kit (complete with signs, talking points, statistics, cool ideas, PR templates, and tips on fundraising) and get started. Pick from one of several messages, grab your sponsor form and hit the road. For every hour you wear or post the sign, ask friends and family to sponsor you with a financial pledge or simply ask for a flat donation.
3. Wear the sign on World AIDS Day, December 1st. Talk about HIV. Collect your pledges. Send in funds raised to YouthAIDS by December 15th to collect great rewards from Levi’s, Virgin, ALDO, Kiehl’s, and others.
YouthAIDS, an education and prevention initiative of PSI, uses media, pop culture, music, theatre and sport to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS and reach 600 million young people in more than 60 countries with life-saving messages, products, services and care. For more information, please visit: www.youthaids.org.
About Virgin Unite
Launched in the UK in 2004, Virgin Unite is the independent charitable arm of the Virgin Group. Richard Branson and Virgin fully-fund its operational costs, so that 100% of all donations received go directly to the frontline where it is needed the most. Virgin Unite was created by Richard Branson and Virgin employees around the world to harness Virgin’s people, resources and energy to make a difference to forgotten people and overlooked issues. Virgin Unite takes an entrepreneurial approach to social and environmental issues and believes that the best way to drive positive change is through investments that support economic growth. Virgin Unite was established in the US and Canada in 2006 and is already operational in the UK, South Africa and Australia. For more information go to www.virginunite.org