The Next Chapter of My PPO Story

I’m thrilled to begin my journey as PPO’s interim Executive Director for the duration of Heather Holland’s maternity leave.  Joining this dynamic team of staff, donors, Insight alumni, volunteers and advocates in the important work PPO does in supporting informed sexual and reproductive health choice in our community is exactly where I want to be.

The work of Planned Parenthood is important to me as a woman, mother and as a socially concerned community member. It is most important to me because I come from a town where there was no Planned Parenthood, where there were few choices and where there was no support for a woman dealing with an unplanned pregnancy. Many years ago, as a teenager myself, I knew a girl who found out she was pregnant. Her trust was betrayed by her doctor, she was kicked out of her family home and she was left with no alternative but to seek refuge in a religiously based “home for unwed mothers”. This young honours student needed a safe place, support and quality information. As a youth myself, I did what I could, and offered her a safe place and a sympathetic ear. She made her choice; she continued with school and went on to earn a Masters degree. I know that was a hard time for her, but when I imagine what might have happened to her if she had not felt as though she had options; it reaffirms how important this work is. I am honoured to be able to work with this team, giving this community excellent information and support from education and prevention, through to options support.

As I look ahead I see a year that will be challenging and exciting. We will be celebrating the incredible success and impact of Insight Theatre over the past 30 years with a fabulous gala, we will share stories from alumni, and we will continue to build the great program for many more years with the help of this amazing community of support!

This year, we also face the continued impact of the loss of the core funding for the very important and tremendously impactful Community Education program. This program is central to ensuring that young people have direct access to quality, youth-friendly, and unbiased information about sexual and reproductive health.   

Parliament is preparing to question a woman’s right to choose, we hope the majority will respond by increasing support to Planned Parenthood everywhere.  Please talk to your networks about why you care about PPO, your voice is so important; choice is so important!

Heather has done so much great work to develop and strengthen PPO.  As we wish her happiness over the next year, we will go forward and continue her efforts by strengthening PPO and enriching our offerings to the community.

Thank you in advance to every one of you, as you are so important to the long term success of PPO.  I love to learn more about our community and hear your stories.  Please pop in, drop me an email or give me a call and tell me your PPO story!

PS: Please ‘save the date’ for our Annual General Meeting, on the evening of Tuesday, June 12th.