It became clear, sitting in the Texas capitol surrounded by new friends in orange this summer, that we’re starting to do things differently around here.
Smaller reproductive justice organizations like NARAL Pro-Choice Texas, Lilith Fund, and Jane’s Due Process dedicated almost all of their staff time and resources toward the legislative sessions we endured. They worked with the well-known, established bigs, like the ACLU and Planned Parenthood, in a highly effective coalition. But those smaller organizations took a proportionally larger hit in terms of resources devoted to the special sessions than the bigs. I left Austin determined to do something to help them refresh their coffers to prepare them for what’s ahead.
We’re planning an event in Houston to do just that:
Access for All
Party & Pub Trivia Match
Jane’s Due Process, Lilith Fund, and NARAL Pro-Choice Texas
Sunday, October 6, 2013
3 to 6 p.m. at the Saint Arnold Brewing Company
You don’t have to participate in the trivia match if you’d rather not—you can stand around, drink beer, and heckle the teams, if you wish. You can sample the fare from the sweet & savory “make the pie higher for everyone” bake sale. Or, you can sign up for a volunteer job (more on those below). You don’t even have to come.
Whether you come, compete, drink, or skip it entirely, however, you do need to make a donation. Here are a few reasons why:
1. These groups are working every day to secure reproductive justice for all Texans. It isn’t easy. Clinics are closing. Restrictions are driving the cost of abortions higher, and confusing people seeking services. Their resources are stretched really thin just when more people need them to do even more than they’ve been doing.
2. These groups are doing something exceptionally rare in the world of philanthropy. They are sharing. These three separate groups agreed, right away, to split the costs and proceeds of this fundraiser three ways. Even split, no arguing over who was doing what percentage of the work and so should get what percentage of funds. Plenty of people talk about collaboration, but cooperation like this is too rare in the world of charities. Of course, as anyone watching the lege earlier this year saw, these groups have strong ties and relationships built on trust, so sharing was an easy decision. We should encourage charities to pool resources whenever possible, and supporting this event sends the message that you approve.
3. It will be a super-fun party. That’s just how we roll. Plus, Saint Arnold beer!
4. Supporting other groups is a great way to build your own network. If you work with a political action group, another charity, or some other entity that wonders how to engage younger supporters, you should support this event, because these three groups are almost entirely driven by young, diverse, dynamic volunteers. The easiest way to engage them in your activities is to participate in theirs. I’d love to see teams from Annie’s List, Battleground Texas, Planned Parenthood, ROADwomen, Houston Young Democratic Women, and other groups participating in this event. I expect to see plenty of men, because, after all, reproductive justice isn’t a women’s issue.
If you have questions, or would like to volunteer, you can let me know in the comments, but you can also email our organizers (the email address is on the ticket purchase page). We’ll need volunteers to donate to the sweet & savory bake sale and help with the set-up and break-down of the event.
I’ll be frank, though. What we really need is you to make a donation by buying tickets or sponsoring a team. I hope you’ll consider helping out. Onward!
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