Jim Hoffman on AIDS Walk and Social Responsibility

I created MENSWALK in 2014. I Walk because HIV/AIDS killed my life partner in 1985 and I have a definite grudge that I don’t plan on giving up easily. I intend to be part of this until AIDS is eradicated, or at least reduces to the level of Polio or some of the things we have actually conquered. I think we can do that, the possibility is there. And that is why MENSWALK wants to continue to help.

The highlight of this year’s campaign for me was LA Pride week with CMEN. This was the first time we’d done massages for donations at Pride and it was something special. MENSWALK hadn’t done that before and it was really well received. The best part was that we had people giving massages for long hours and I don’t know if you’ve ever given a massage for three hours, but it’s a lot of work. These volunteers put in three hours and then they thanked me for letting them be a part of it. It doesn’t get any better than that. Having a volunteer thank you for letting them participate in the fundraising event, that is as good as it gets.

Our team impacts the community because we have introduced social purpose to a lot of individuals in groups that were just social groups and now they feel a lot better about life since they see how they are contributing to the community. They were able to do that through AIDS Walk. It’s hard to put this into words but there is an intangible value to doing something that is not just enjoyable, but also socially responsible. And we provide that, MENSWALK provides that.