HIV/AIDS awareness is hugely significant issue, and education about the virus is key to helping to prevent people from contracting it. One North Carolina-based professional counselor has found a unique way to raise funds for HIV education that makes giving fun, if a little dangerous to people's waistlines.
Meet Tasha Holland-Kornegay, who founded Oscar William's Gourmet, a nonprofit company that sells cotton candy to educate her community about HIV/AIDS, and to raise money for HIV/AIDS outreach. According to Southern Living, Holland-Kornegay named the company after her father-in-law, William Oscar, flipping his name.
So, how did the cotton candy company come about?
“In 2013 I was struggling to secure grants for my new organization,” explained Holland-Kornegay. “My then 14-year-old son, Kyree, had the idea to do a cotton candy sale to raise a little money.”
She never would've imagined then that a one-time fundraiser would grow into a huge financial success!
Today, Oscar William's Gourmet's is served at birthday parties, corporate dinners and weddings. There is even a mail-order option!
With unique cotton candy flavors such as banana pudding, lemonade, caramel truffle and sangria, Holland-Kornegay and Kyree provide their customers an entire experience by inserting choreography while whipping up their treats.
Plus, the product boasts a certified organic label, it's kosher, gluten free, allergen free, vegan and it has no artificial coloring/flavoring. And branding is clearly important, as the mascot proudly wears the HIV/AIDS awareness/prevention color in its red bowtie.
Along with funding outreach programs, 10 percent of the cotton candy proceeds go toward HIV/AIDS research.
“Anytime I can help put a smile on someone’s face, it makes me smile too. I love that feeling,” said Holland-Kornegay.