This year the Stamp Appeal will support the work of the Church of Scotland HIV Programme which aids partners both in Scotland and overseas to support those infected and affected by HIV. HIV and AIDS do not often make the headlines these days. Many people think that the problems caused by the global epidemic are things of the past. Unfortunately, it is still an issue, particularly for our partner churches in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia.
There is still no vaccine against HIV, and while retroviral treatment is available for those lucky enough to access it, there is still no cure. Each year over 1.5 million people die of HIV – and AIDS – related illnesses, and over 2 million new infections are recorded. There are still a huge number of children who have lost one or both parents to HIV, and who are reliant on the extended family or community to care for them.
For over 12 years, thanks to the generosity of church members and their fund-raising, the Church of Scotland HIV Programme has been able to offer support to partner churches overseas as they engage with the reality of HIV and AIDS in their communities; nearer to home, we also support local organisations in Scotland who are reaching out to families infected and affected by HIV.
The projects we support at home and overseas run education awareness programmes, support orphans and vulnerable children, train volunteers to provide home-based care, facilitate support groups for people living with HIV so that they can live positively in every sense of the word. They also challenge the stigma and discrimination which so often accompanies an HIV+ diagnosis.
How the scheme works – Used stamps are gathered in, sorted and sold to collectors. Administration costs are minimal as the skilled work of preparing and selling the stamps is undertaken by teams of home workers. The success of the scheme depends on the support given to it by congregations, organisations and individuals throughout Scotland who regularly send in packets of used stamps.
How you can help – While contributions from individuals are most welcome, much time and effort can be saved by organising the collection of stamps throughout a congregation. Both churches have created a ‘post box’ in the Church entrance for you to leave your old stamps. These are periodically sorted and sent to the Church of Scotland, World Mission in Edinburgh.
Old stamp collections – If you have an unused stamp collection lying in a drawer, why not consider donating it to the World Mission stamp centre? It would not only contribute to the World Mission work, but would also find a home with an active collector who would treasure your collection.
- Inform others, spread the word and get collecting!
- Please cut the stamps from the envelope or parcel leaving at least a quarter of an inch of paper all around.
- Please do not attempt to remove the paper from the back of the stamps.
- Remember – damaged stamps have NO value.
- It would also be helpful if you could sort the stamps into British and foreign.