Damien Center is one of the organizations the Indy Fuel are partnering with for Hockey for Indy Night on Friday, February 25. Their impact and importance to the Indianapolis community is immeasurable. If you’ve never heard of them, allow us to introduce you –
Founded in 1987, Damien Center is Indiana’s oldest and largest AIDS service organization (ASO) and serves more than 4,000 individuals affected and infected by HIV/AIDS through a comprehensive, innovative approach to HIV care and prevention.
We spoke with their Outreach Team Lead, Robert Kellman, to learn about his role with Damien Center and about the impact they have in the community.
FUEL: How did you become involved with Damien Center and what led you to want to be involved?
KELLMAN: I initially became involved with Damien by volunteering and hosting a private annual fundraiser in honor of a late friend who passed away from an AIDS related illness several years ago.
FUEL: In your own words, what is the main mission of Damien Center?
KELLMAN: To empower those affected by HIV by providing them with vital resources and care.
FUEL: Out of everything you do with Damien Center, what do you feel is the most important part and what is the most rewarding?
KELLMAN: What I do is try to educate individuals about HIV so we can lessen (hopefully remove) the stigma that still surrounds it. Going out in the community, engaging individuals in conversation and as a result seeing their perspective change in real time is very rewarding.
FUEL: What do you hope Damien Center will become and mean to the Indianapolis community?
KELLMAN: As we look forward, I hope that our organization will be known for providing holistic care and resources to various marginalized populations in our community, not only those affected by HIV.
FUEL: If someone needs help, resources or wants to become involved with Damien Center, how would they go about doing that?
KELLMAN: Individuals can find out more about our services at damien.org, reach out to me directly (email@example.com), call to make an appointment or even walk in to seek help. We have two locations now. Our main office is at 26 Arsenal Ave. and our satellite location is at CAFÉ (Community Alliance of the Far Eastside) located at 38th and Post Road.
Hockey for Indy Night presented by PNC Bank is Friday, February 25 at 7:00 PM ET. Join us as we team up with local organizations that are working to promote respect, diversity, equity and inclusion both in hockey and in the Indianapolis community. Click HERE to learn more about Hockey for Indy and to get your tickets now!