Fighting For Women With HIV/AIDS Before it was Cool!

C.L. Edwards
Posted February 22, 2018 from United States
Cheryl Lewis Edwards and her brother Ronald D. Lewis
Cheryl Lewis Edwards and her brother Ronald D. Lewis (1/1)

Although Cheryl does not live with HIV – her family was impacted and her world changed in 1993 when Ronald D. Lewis (aspiring actor and model in NY), her only sibling and closest confidant was diagnosed with HIV/AIDS. As Ron lay sick on his bed, he made Cheryl make a promise to one day assist people with HIV/AIDS…a promise she “vowed” to keep.

In 2000, after 20 years in telecom management, Cheryl was laid off and immediately went into action to open A Sister’s Gift Women’s Center. During her research, Cheryl noticed a rise in female diagnosis and a lack of female gender - centered services. After research, Cheryl determined women were an "under served" group and launched A Sister’s Gift in 2003.

A Sister’s Gift (ASG) is a “center” of crisis and support services which consist of counseling, peer – focused support and advocacy projects which empower women to “not” live in fear of stigma. ASG encourages and coaches clients to live in acceptance and “wellness” to become role model - head of households, mothers and grandmothers in their communities. Early on, Cheryl was told by Ryan White local officials “if you service men you can get RW funding.” Cheryl and her Board of Directors decided to take a “bold” stand for women and not “sell out.”

In operation for 14 years, ASG depends heavily on the grant support of private foundations such as Dallas Women’s Foundation, Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS, UMCOR, and the Junior League to name a few.

ASG operates out of a discreet Intake Office in East Dallas with a team of over 50 Outreach volunteers ready to assist and support with crisis and outreach and serves an average of 150 women/girls each year. What a Gift? To women and the female community!


Comments 5

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Jill Langhus
Feb 23, 2018
Feb 23, 2018

Hi C.L. Thanks for sharing your NGO story and background story. I'm impressed with your operation and mission. I'm now following your organization on FB and Twitter. Looking forward to hearing more about what you and your organization do.

Feb 23, 2018
Feb 23, 2018

following you on fb..

Dec 14, 2018
Dec 14, 2018

Hi Cheryl
Hmm is sad that is topic is still sensitive to talk about it. Let's continue to speak up on it.
Thanks for sharing.
Greetings from Ghana

Tamarack Verrall
Dec 18, 2018
Dec 18, 2018

Hi Cheryl,
This is such important work you are doing. So many respond in a mix of fear and prejudice. You have clearly made such change possible.

Robin Parisse
Jan 11
Jan 11

Thank you for being there for those in need. Thank you for standing up and caring. May your services continue to reach more and more who need your assistance.