While it seems to be one the biggest issues facing the African American community, HIV/AIDS awareness is hugely under represented, 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.
This isTasha 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.
Each product is kosher, gluten free, allergen free, vegan and it has no artificial coloring/flavoring. Plus, the product boasts a certified organic label. 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% 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.