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Keep an Eye Out For The Red Balloons

By David Markland
Published: Wednesday, December 01, 2010, at 12:12PM
IMG_2806 David Markland [Flickr]

Peter Schumerth and Wendy Canole, advisory councilmembers for Salvation Army Alegria setting out to distribute informational fliers around Downtown.

To commemorate World Aids Day, The Salvation Army has dispatched around 150 volunteers around Downtown to educate the public on assorted current AIDS issues. While the organization is recognized more often by a ringing bell and kettle, the individuals partaking in today's mission can be spotted carrying red tote bags and a red balloon.

"The Red Balloon Walk" began mid-morning at an outdoor command center in front of Staples Center, with open enrollment continuing through around 1pm. Volunteers are given a map with an area to cover by handing out materials about The Salvation Army Alegria, the organizations housing and healthcare project for families affected by HIV and AIDS.

In addition to bringing awareness to the global epidemic on World AIDS Day, "The Red Balloon Walk" is an opportunity for the Salvation Army to demonstrate one of its initiatives. "Most people don't know everything that the Salvation Army does," said Wendy Canole, one of the volunteers hitting the streets today.

In addition to a transitional housing community and child development center in Silver Lake, Allegria provides 18 units of emergency housing at a center across from the Staples Center.

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