Until There’s a Cure…
January 31, 2017
CALVERT FAMILY CONTRIBUTES $30,000 TO FUND SAN ANTONIO AIDS FOUNDATION’S HOT MEAL PROGRAM: Gift Honors Longtime Volunteer and Donor Mary Calvert
SAN ANTONIO –The San Antonio AIDS Foundation (SAAF) has received a $30,000 gift to establish a permanent endowment to fund SAAF’s dietary service, Nourishing SAAF, which provides free daily, year-round meals to people living with HIV/AIDS.
The Mary D. Calvert Fund honors the memory of the late Mrs. Calvert – one of SAAF’s earliest volunteers and most generous donors. The gift was presented by Calvert’s husband, James Spencer Calvert, and their six children: sons James Spencer Calvert Jr., Joseph Dittmar Calvert and Richard Elmer Rice Calvert; and daughters Carolyn Calvert Phipps, Elizabeth Calvert Hickman and Lucy Calvert Higginbotham.
Mrs. Calvert, who passed away in June 2013, provided SAAF with significant financial assistance and countless volunteer hours in the late 1980s and early 1990s when the organization was in its infancy and struggling to stay afloat. “She boldly embraced the cause by investing all her resources to help the San Antonio AIDS Foundation,” said her daughter, Elizabeth Calvert Hickman. “Her efforts were critical in providing personal compassion and care to those who suffered. Without her, the foundation’s doors would have closed.”
“We are deeply grateful for this generous donation, which will be used to create a permanent, interest-earning endowment to operate our dietary program here at SAAF,” said CEO Cynthia Nelson. “As one of our most devoted supporters, Mrs. Calvert helped our agency grow into the largest HIV/AIDS service organization in Bexar County. We witness her legacy every day in our compassionate and comprehensive work which reaches more than 30,000 people a year. Her family’s gift to the dietary program will further strengthen that legacy for years to come.”
Nelson said the Nourishing SAAF hot meals program provided 43,000 meals to people living with HIV/AIDS in San Antonio last year. She also said the agency distributes 2,000 packages of groceries a year to needy people living with the disease through a special mobile pantry program in partnership with the San Antonio Food Bank.
“The San Antonio AIDS Foundation is dedicated to a total continuum of care for the people we serve. One of the most important components of successful HIV/AIDS care is proper nutrition. The Calvert Family’s gift will help tremendously as we work to sustain and grow this important aspect of our life-saving work,” Nelson said.
A devoted wife, mother and community volunteer in San Antonio, Mary Anita Dittmar Calvert was born on January 31, 1930. When she passed away in June 2013, the San Antonio Express-News included this in her life tribute: “She was a 5th generation descendent of German immigrants to New Braunfels and Castroville and was proud to be a 4th generation San Antonian. Her great-grandfather, Ludwig Mahncke, was San Antonio’s first park commissioner. Other than Col. Brackenridge himself, Mahncke was the person most responsible for the existence and development of Brackenridge Park and was also personally responsible for procuring and planting the large cypress trees that line the River Walk.” Also in the tribute, one of her three sons described her as “the family dynamo who made things happen with endless energy and creativity.”
ABOUT THE SAN ANTONIO AIDS FOUNDATION
Founded in 1986, the San Antonio AIDS Foundation commemorates 30 years of service in 2016. It is the oldest and largest HIV/AIDS service organization in Bexar County. Its mission is to prevent the spread of HIV and provide comprehensive services to individuals affected by HIV/AIDS. SAAF’s headquarters and clinical services are located at 818 E. Grayson St. and the testing and education offices are at 333 S. Hackberry St. For more information, visit http://www.SanAntonioAIDS.org or call Ken Slavin, vice president of communications, at 225-4715, ext. 141.
The San Antonio AIDS Foundation (SAAF, /sāf/) has a dual mission — to provide compassionate medical care and social services to people with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS), and to help prevent the spread of HIV through education, counseling and testing.
We are guided by the belief that HIV/AIDS is a disease and those affected by this disease should receive compassion and understanding. SAAF advocates a harm reduction philosophy believing that all individuals with HIV need compassionate services, including food and shelter, irrespective of their individual circumstances and practices. SAAF exists to provide dignity and comfort to individuals infected with HIV and AIDS. SAAF supports the provision of services without discrimination on any basis, including but not limited to race, ethnicity, age, sex, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, religion, handicap, immigrant status, national origin and criminal background.