Joyce Wearstler of Annapolis
AShortly after Joyce Wearstler's arrival in Anne Arundel County in 1986, she decided she wanted to do some volunteer work.
She was referred to the Baltimore-based HERO (Health Education Resource Organization), a group that provides support and assistance to people with AIDS.
As she worked at HERO as a facilitator -- or "Buddy" -- to people with AIDS, it dawned on her that Anne Arundel did not have a similar network of support.
By December 1989, Ms. Wearstler had redirected her volunteer efforts, starting an HIV/AIDS support group in Annapolis that evolved over two years into the HIV/AIDS Volunteer Enrichment Network (HAVEN).
Now some 80 volunteers strong, HAVEN offers county residents who have the AIDS virus and their families a variety of services. The services include individual and group support for family and companions of people with HIV/AIDS, opportunities for people suffering from the disease to speak with each other in a climate of confidentiality and an information network offering HIV/AIDS-related reading material and videos.
rTC Ms. Wearstler estimates that HAVEN has helped about 100 county residents who have AIDS or are HIV positive.
"We need volunteers desperately and always need meeting space for the support groups," she says.
To find out more about HAVEN or to volunteer for the organization, call 269-8064 or the county Health Department at 222-7109.
To recommend someone to be in the "Volunteer Spotlight" call the Anne Arundel Bureau, 315-8911 or 1-800-829-8000, Ext. 8911, any time or fax nominations to 315-8916 or mail them to: The Sun for Anne Arundel, 8131 Ritchie Highway, Pasadena, MD 21122.