Welcome to Thursday’s Child—a name taken from the well-known anonymously written nursery rhyme that begins with “Monday’s child is fair of face…” and the rejoinder for Thursday’s Child is hauntingly… “has far to go.” Our founder, the late Sharon ‘Didi’ Kelly chose this name wisely in 1989 as a name that speaks to the hope and promise of a better tomorrow, not to the daily tragedy caused by the AIDS pandemic. Didi opened the doors of her beautiful Westhampton Beach home to People Living With HIV/AIDS in the late 80’s; she also opened her heart. When others were fearful, shunning, and discriminatory—Didi made you feel welcomed and loved.
In 1989, members of Long Island ACT UP combined forces with Didi and designed Thursday’s Child as an educational agency to create social change—to end the stigma and provide the hope of a better tomorrow. At this time, the disease was perceived as a death sentence—and too often it was so tragic-- it was also debilitating to live with. Many could no longer work due to the effect of AIDS on their health; others were denied housing if their status was known. In 1992, a friend of the agency died of AIDS and willed his house to Thursday’s Child; it has since become a sanctuary for People Living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA). Known as “Beech House,” it has provided low-cost and safe shelter for over 25 families and individuals. Beech House continues to provide independent housing for PLWHA.
We continue to honor our deceased founding members through our daily service for the PLWHA community—in memory of:
ACT UP! FIGHT BACK! FIGHT AIDS!