Bryan’s House Heroes presents BBQ, Band and Brews, a fundraiser for Bryan’s House, on Sunday, June 5, from 1-3 p.m. at Local Moto+Provisions, 1605 N. Beckley Ave. in Dallas.
The event includes live music from the Jonny Mack Trio and a raffle for a vintage 1975 Honda CB360, custom built by Ashton Whitley of Third Shift. Raffle tickets are $20 each, available online at BryansHouse.org/raffle, and 100 percent of ticket sales benefit the new Bryan’s House Heroes Program providing daily care for infacts with special needs or those impacted by HIV/AIDS.
Bryan’s House was founded in 1988 with a special focus on providing care for infants and children impacted by HIV/AIDS. As treatments to fight the virus and to keep it from being passed from mothers to their unborn children have advanced, the number of children dealing with HIV/AIDS has decreased, and more of Bryan’s House’s clients have been children with other medical, physical and developmental challenges.
But HIV/AIDS has not been eradicated in children by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, Bryan’s House Executive Director Abigail Erickson said, according to Children’s Medical Center, there have been children that have died of HIV/AIDS in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex in the last 12 months.
Erickson said Bryan’s House is currently serving infants that have been exposed to HIV/AIDS in the womb.
“If Mom didn’t know she had AIDS, the med-schedule can start and so can babies’ treatment, which lasts about six weeks,” Erickson said. “Babies must be watched for the full 12 months to see if the virus develops, and then Mom still needs our daily medically managed care, especially if she has been sex trafficked, addicted or abused. We must meet the need head on, so we created and launched the new Bryan’s House Heroes Program to serve 16 new infants.”
Erickson took over as executive director in January, following the retirement of longtime ED David Thomas. In her first weeks leading the agency, she worked with boardmembers, staff, funders and community leaders to review operations, programs and services from the ground up.
“My first goal [was] to explore ways that Bryan’s House can maximize the impact on our community by serving more children with special needs, including those with HIV/AIDS, and their families,” Erickson said. “Our constituents, key stakeholders, partners, funders, volunteers and social service agencies are key components to delivering our mission. I will prioritize connecting with them. We want to eliminate our waiting lists and bring everyone back home to Bryan’s House.”
She continued, “Bryan’s House is a unique place of compassion and hope where children with special needs and children impacted by HIV/AIDS can just be kids. We provide an environment in which kids can be free of the burdens of their illnesses or disabilities and where they can instead focus on the important things in life, like learning to read a book, paint a picture for their mom to put on the refrigerator, ride a bicycle, or simply have fun in a nurturing environment.
“Likewise, their parents can continue to work or finish their education and can continue to support their families. Our staff are amazing, and the quality of care at Bryan’s House is simply excellent.”
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition June 3, 2016.