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DCAF’s 2015 off to an incredible start

q1recapIt’s a busy time of year! The cherry blossoms have bloomed, the school year is coming to a close, and everyone is planning their first beach trip of the season. Wondering what DCAF has been up to lately? Here are some updates from the first quarter:

We filled the Angelika theater for a screening of Vessel, a documentary about Women on Waves, a reproductive rights group that sails internationally to provide abortion services aboard a ship to women living in countries with anti-abortion laws. Afterwards, we enjoyed a great discussion about the film with awesome pro-choice people.

We were represented by two of DCAF’s very own — Board President Val and case manager Sarah B-S — at WIN’s Young Women of Achievement awards. WIN holds these awards annually in order to celebrate young women leaders who are making a difference in the community. Both Val and Sarah were nominated. DCAF was proud to be represented at the awards and to celebrate the great achievements that have been made!

We trained a fresh batch of case managers! In January and March, we had trainings for new case managers who were eager to get on the lines and start directly helping clients. We are excited to have trained our biggest case manager recruiting class to date! Those trainees are now well on their way to becoming seasoned CMs (thanks to the help of some more experienced folks) and are helping to improve abortion access, one call at a time. You can sign up for your own training here.

We spoke out about abortion rights! In honor of Women’s History Month, DCAF joined DC Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton for a round table on abortion rights. Prochoice allies from all over DC spoke out on the importance of expanding abortion access.

We raised money to fund the work we do through a few very successful fundraisers. DCAF recently benefitted from “Drink 4 A Cause” at Town Tavern. DCAF board members, case managers, and pro-choice people raised more than $250 at happy hour!

We also benefitted from Punk Rock Karaoke Northeast at the Black Cat where we sang our favorite punk songs and raised almost $1,000 for DCAF. Big thanks to Shira, Jay, and Lizz for making us their beneficiary!

And who could forget all of the work volunteers have been putting in raising money for DCAF’s biggest fundraising event of the year? We certainly didn’t. Our pro-choice champions have been telling everyone they know about DCAF’s work in order to raise money for our sixth annual Billiards-a-thon. The event is getting closer, be we still need your help to get us closer to our goal of $55,000! There is still time to sign up, join a team, or donate. After you spend this week fundraising, come celebrate your hard work with billiards, food, and drinks on Sunday, April 26. We need your help to make choice a reality for our patients - sign up today!

By volunteer Victoria C, images by volunteers (clockwise from top left) Katie C, Val V, Emma C, Andrea G. 


Have you joined the Billiards-a-Thon yet? Here’s why you should.

share2Have you joined the DC Abortion Fund’s Billiards-a-Thon yet? There’s still plenty of time to start a team and raise some money to help us hit our goal of $55,000. But if you’re hesitant, why not let one of our fundraisers, Claire, tell you why she’s hustling for us:

When I was invited to join a team for DCAF’s Billiards-a-Thon last year, I felt the conflicting feelings of resolve and dread.

It was awkward and uncomfortable enough to ask my college classmates to donate to our alma mater — a pretty uncontroversial request. How could I possibly ask people to fund abortions? What if I totally fail?

I tried to squash those feelings and focus on the reason why abortion funds like DCAF exist in the first place — because choice is still inaccessible to so many. Many counties in the country lack an abortion provider, so those with limited resources often have trouble traveling to reach the closest clinic. Worse, more abortion restrictions were enacted from 2011-13 than in the entire previous decade—and they just keep on coming, chipping away at the rights affirmed by Roe v. Wade.

The sad truth is that the poorest in our society suffer the most from restrictions on abortion. My strong belief in social and economic justice not just calls me, but demands me to take real action to right this injustice, not only in my day job but in my free time as well. When I see all-volunteer abortion funds like DCAF filling the gaps in resources available for those who are unable to access the reproductive health care they need, I am inspired — and frankly, relieved. It’s powerful to see members of our community coming together to make sure choice is a reality for women in the DC area.

Bolstered by all of the stories and statistics I see every day at work and in the media, last April I started writing personal emails to my friends and family, highlighting why supporting DCAF is so crucial. And I started tweeting as well. What I discovered was that while the initial ask was intimidating, my friends and family, if asked, believe just as strongly as I do in the work that DCAF does to insuring choice is a reality. Not only did I meet my fundraising goal last year, but I surpassed it!

While the goals, teams, and billiards give a little competitive incentive to fundraising, the bottom line is that DCAF—and abortion funds across the country — need every dollar possible. Though I’ve already reached my personal fundraising goal this year (!), I continue to hustle for DCAF every day until the Billiards-a-Thon. Here are some real numbers on why you should too:

  • $231 DCAF’s average pledge to patients.
  • $337 The average cost of a first-trimester abortion in the DC area.
  • $5,720 The average cost of a later abortion in the DC area.

 

Has Claire convinced you yet? Then join us, start a team, or just give a donation. We hope to see you on April 26!

 

Written by volunteer Claire G; image by volunteer Emma C.