World AIDS Day was on December 1st, and had a theme of “End Inequalities. End AIDS” with a special focus on reaching those left behind. This group of people “left behind” is representative of our residents who are largely marginalized by society. Executive Director, Susanne B. Dietzel, reminded staff and residents on this day that at Project Lazarus– every day is World AIDS Day, and every day we should focus on reaching those left behind.
Project Lazarus residents and staff participated in events held during the first week of December for NOLA HIV awareness week. It was inspiring to stand alongside our community partners, remember those who we have lost to HIV/AIDS, and have discussions about how to end this epidemic. In 2021, there was an estimated 37 million people living with HIV globally, and 680,000 died due to HIV-related causes.
The shift in the HIV epidemic from a “death sentence” to a disease that you can live a long, happy, healthy life with is representative of the shift that Project Lazarus has made as an organization. While we were founded as a hospice and a place for people to come and die with dignity, we are now a place for people to come and live with hope as they transition into the next stage of their life.
Music Therapy with Loyola University
This semester, Project Lazarus residents have had the pleasure of working with the Loyola University School of Music Therapy. Each week, instructor Kei Slaughter and two graduate students join residents to share the healing and connecting power of music.
The residents have agreed that music therapy is one of their favorite things to look forward to during the week. Thank you to Loyola University for bringing us so much joy and love through music!!
Thank you, Service Learners!
Project Lazarus has worked with the Loyola University Office of Community Engaged Learning Teaching and Scholarship (OCELTS) for a couple of years now, and we continue to have wonderful experiences with the Loyola service learners who come to volunteer each semester.
This semester, the Loyola service learners worked hard at gardening and landscaping with our Facilities Manager, Carol, and some of the residents. This was particularly helpful after the damage that the property sustained during Hurricane Ida. They also helped with a variety of administrative tasks, and provided us with new ideas and perspectives regarding resident activities and the organization in general. We are already looking forward to the next group of students who will volunteer this Spring semester!!