Shortly after last year’s election, I knew women’s reproductive rights would come under fire on many fronts across the country and began seeking local DC opportunities to act against that. My research quickly brought me to the DC Abortion Fund (DCAF). The organization struck me as unique in their single-handed focus on helping women get access to abortions, so I reached out and expressed interest in volunteering.
Soon someone from the organization got in touch with me and suggested matching me with a mentor – an experienced volunteer who would meet with me to discuss the work of the fund, my interests, and my potential role as a volunteer. A couple of weeks later I had an amazing match and met her for some happy hour cocktails, where I learned, among other things, that the organization is run entirely by volunteers and is focused on helping women who cannot afford an abortion secure funding for their procedures.
I also learned that DCAF offers a number of opportunities for volunteering, from managing specific patient cases, to helping organize, staff or photograph some of the organization’s events, to drafting some of the DCAF blogs. Being a data geek professionally and at heart, I was most intrigued by DCAF’s ongoing efforts to migrate their patient and funding data to a new data-management system, which would allow the organization to more effectively store its data and more efficiently utilize it to analyze funding trends. While the process is still in its early stages, I already met a group of lovely fellow DCAF volunteers for a Sunday afternoon data-entry party. Aided by mimosas and some delicious home-baked donuts, we entered existing hard copies of funding pledges into the new system and learned about the structure of the database.
I’m very excited that I reached out to DCAF and am now part of their team. If reproductive rights are your passion too, I encourage you to check out DCAF’s volunteering opportunities or donate to the fund (or both).