Thursday, August 11, 2011

SAN FRANCISCO: Ruth Brinker, Founder Of Project Open Hand Dies At Age 89

Ruth Brinker, who founded San Francisco's Project Open Hand, has died at the age of 89. Project Open Hand was the world's first charity to provide meals to people with AIDS.
In 1985, having retired from a career in food services, Ruth heard about a neighbor who died of AIDS. She was shocked to discover that malnutrition was as much the cause of her neighbor’s death as the illness itself. She realized that many others living with AIDS were in the same situation and she knew she could do something. Ruth began preparing meals in her kitchen and delivering them to seven people. That number quickly grew and volunteers came to help her cook and deliver hot, nourishing meals all over San Francisco to people living alone and struggling with a devastating illness. “I didn’t think I was doing anything special,” Ruth said. “I did what anyone would have done under those circumstances.” With this simple act of kindness, repeated day after day with compassion and care, Project Open Hand was born.