Two years ago, Camden Chitwood learned a 26-year-old male friend had been diagnosed with HIV/AIDs.
Chitwood, 28, who owns her own floral and events planning business in Oklahoma City’s Midtown district, said her friend was alienated by family, friends and others. She decided to find a way to help those who are living locally with the disease.
“The stigma put on people should change. Everyone needs to be loved,” said Chitwood, who serves as board president of the Oklahoma City Winds House and Winds Family House, two residences for people with HIV/AIDS in the Gatewood district.
In 2012, she helped raise more than $50,000 for the homes. She has not stopped.
Now she and and other florists are making about 15 functional birdhouses that will be sold to help keep the Winds homes open.
The annual birdhouse fundraising auction and event is from 5 to 8 p.m. Sunday at Architectural Hardware Designs, 9450 N May Ave. Tickets are $35.
Chitwood said the event raises up to $15,000 each year to help maintain the older houses.
The Winds House opened in 1987. Today 13 people live in the two homes.
Chitwood said many people who stay at the Winds homes are able to transition to independent living despite their disease.
For more information about the auction go online to www.windshouseokc.org.