Kenneth Cole & Help USA Partner to Raise AWEARNESS About the Impact of HIV/AIDS on the Homeless With the Launch of a Limited Edition Rain Poncho

Mayor Cory A. Booker Named an Official AWEARNESS "Change Agent"

Mar 03, 2011, 09:00 ET from Kenneth Cole

NEW YORK, March 3, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- "STICK YOUR NECK OUT… for others."  With the launch of his new limited edition AWEARNESS rain poncho, fashion designer Kenneth Cole invites customers to join the fight against the HIV/AIDS epidemic affecting the homeless population in the United States.

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Reversible from blue camouflage to solid black, this nylon unisex hooded poncho tucks into a self-containing pouch that can easily be slipped into a bag or briefcase.  Retailing for $60.00, the poncho is available exclusively at Kenneth Cole retail stores nationwide and at beginning this March through May 30th, 2011.

During this time, 100% of net profits from the sale of the rain poncho will be donated to AWEARNESS, The Kenneth Cole Foundation in support of HELP USA, and will go towards funding housing for homeless people living with HIV/AIDS. The mental health and emotional issues of dealing with an HIV diagnosis can often contribute to the patient becoming homeless.  As a result, HIV is found in the homeless community in epic proportions throughout the United States with a median rate of HIV prevalence that is three times higher than the general population.

Cory A. Booker, Mayor of Newark is being recognized as an official "Change Agent" by AWEARNESS, The Kenneth Cole Foundation, for his passion for social change and ongoing work with HELP USA.  A "Change Agent" is a social activist who strives to help educate and encourage others to get involved. The Mayor's passion for politics and justice was instilled at an early age by a family committed to change. Booker lives his politics, often in unconventional and creative ways. His drive and commitment is an inspiration to audiences across the country.

"This is not a crisis we should resign ourselves to, but understand that we could actually do a lot about this," says Booker.  The complete interview with Cory A. Booker as the featured AWEARNESS "Change Agent" can be viewed online at

AWEARNESS, The Kenneth Cole Foundation is a not-for-profit entity that raises awareness, increases prevention, supports education and eradicates stigma in the fight against HIV/AIDS.   Each quarter the Foundation partners with a progressive, not-for-profit organization to help create awareness surrounding the issue of HIV/AIDS.  As part of this program, an AWEARNESS "Change Agent" is selected, and their story of social activism is highlighted to inspire others to get involved.   These interviews can be seen on the AWEARNESS website


HELP USA's mission is to provide housing and the supportive services necessary for the homeless and people in need to become and remain self reliant. Through the development of quality housing with on-site support services, HELP USA provides resources for its residents to become independent and self-sufficient. HELP USA breaks the cycle of dependency by addressing underlying causes in a way that respects the dignity of those they serve. HELP USA helps their clients help themselves.

The comprehensive continuum of services offered at HELP USA residences includes employment training and placement, life skills education, childcare, and domestic violence counseling. As clients build confidence and skills, they take control of their lives and find a new beginning.

About Kenneth Cole

Since 1985 Kenneth Cole has been an advocate on behalf of AIDS research. He has often lent his creative voice to social messaging combating the stigma of HIV/AIDS.  As Chairman of amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, he has worked tirelessly to help find a cure for the disease.

SOURCE Kenneth Cole