Updated 09/13/2012 02:54 PM
Volunteers Travel to South Africa to Help People with AIDS and HIV
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Some home care employees and volunteers from Rochester are traveling to South Africa to help care for people living with AIDS and HIV.
The group, from Lifetime Care and Excellus Blue Cross Blue Shield, is also taking along 50 pounds of donated medical supplies.
They left for their trip Thursday morning.
The volunteers will do what they can to provide comfort, food, and much needed medical supplies to women and children. They even packed yarn for nurses to knit cozy blankets to comfort the dying.
Since 2003 the group has raised about 155 thousand dollars to give to staff and patients at the Zululand hospice.
This is Ruth Hogan's seventh trip to South Africa. She has been a volunteer with Lifetime Care for more than two decades.
"The hospice staff tells the patients that the women from America are coming. We walk in their homes and we do not speak the same language, but the hugs and smiles say it all...as to how we are all feeling," Ruth Hogan said.
In addition to their hugs and comfort and medical supplies, they also managed to raise funds and collected $31,000 for the hospice this year.
This is a mission they plan to continue to do year after year. The group credits the Rochester community for being so generous in donations to the mission to make it possible.