Dear friends and partners,
Something remarkable has happened.
It's the end of 2015 and Planned Parenthood Ottawa (PPO) is still open. I wasn't sure this would happen, but people like you made it possible. Literally. I'm happy to report that 2016 looks much, much brighter.
You responded to our call for help. I heard the same message all year – from youth and millennials to octogenarians: It's impossible that Planned Parenthood could close.
But it wasn't impossible.
Things were tight. We pared down to two staff, we reduced services to only provide the most essential, we leaned heavily on our miraculous volunteer team, and we kept asking you for help. And you kept responding.
That means the world to us. Thanks to you, we're filled with optimism for 2016!
This week, a generous individual offered to match your donations until the end of 2015 up to $10,000. This means if you donate $10 or $100 or $1000, he will match it so your donation will reach twice as many people in need.
This is what he explained to me: "Organizations like PPO are needed to promote social justice. You play such a unique and vital role in supporting our community -- you need enough funding to stay open to continue this important work."
I wish I could sit with every one of you to explain where our inspiration comes from to fight this uphill battle to keep PPO’s doors open.
Every day we hear from someone in need of PPO services who becomes indelibly etched in our mind and psyche. The call from a frightened pregnant Canadian in Asia, the woman with the long awaited pregnancy who learned at 19 weeks that it wasn't viable, the woman (women) who want to continue the pregnancy but their partner is pressuring them to have an abortion, the foreign student who was in denial until 23 weeks and needed to learn about adoption, the woman with five children who just can't afford a sixth... Every single day.
Each story only makes me want to work harder to provide these essential services and reach out to people like you who care.
Now I'm thrilled to report that our perseverance is paying off. Trillium has provided a 3-year project grant for community outreach, we secured bridge funding for our Options and Insight programs, we were awarded funding by the Crabtree Foundation to support our education program.
Now we are eager for 2016 to start! We can rebuild our team and do far more than we could in 2015. Together with your support, here is what we hope to do:
- Reach 1,000's of youth in Ottawa schools with critical education about sexual and relationship health and safety.
- Plaster public transit with pro-choice messages so people aren't channeled into anti- choice services.
- Welcome our newest-arrived citizens with culturally-relevant health services.
I know I can count on you to help make this happen. At PPO, we spend each dollar as frugally as if it were our own -- your donation makes an immediate difference in the service we provide. Come visit and I'll happily open our doors and books to show you what I mean.
For the next 13 days, your donationwill go twice as far. Please help us welcome 2016.
You can make an online donation here, or you can mail a cheque to our address below. Please ensure a 2015 postmark.
I believe the doors of Planned Parenthood Ottawa will always be open. You will make sure of that.
Happy, happy holidays.
With much gratitude,
Planned Parenthood Ottawa
403-2197 Riverside Drive
Ottawa, ON, K1H 7X3