Thursday, August 7, 2008

Ready For Action!

By Shannon S.
SD Community Organizer

The fight against Initiated Measure 11- the South Dakota Abortion Ban – is truly in full swing. I know in the past I’ve mentioned how in this line of work, these battles and topics can take over your thoughts 24/7/365. This is especially true right now as all thoughts are turned to talking to voters and supporters about this ballot initiative and why it is so bad for the people of South Dakota. It’s important work; it’s fun work. But, I’m thrilled to actually be writing about something today that has nothing to do with Initiated Measure 11!

See, the truth of the matter is, while the fight is worth every moment spent on it, it’s not the only thing we’d like to focus on here at Planned Parenthood. We want to focus on helping families plan their pregnancies. We care about providing quality healthcare to men and women in this state. We want to educate people and advocate for their healthcare needs. The reality is, when you work for our organization in a state like South Dakota, you spend a ton of time focusing on fighting bad laws.

Regardless, last week, I had a wonderful opportunity to get out of the office, and on to an airplane to beautiful Portland, Oregon for what is called a Live Action Camp. This was my first experience with a “training” such as this, and what an amazing experience it was.

Organizers from Planned Parenthood Affiliates around the country joined together to share stories from the field…what works, what doesn’t work… and tips for organizing success. I also loved the opportunity to talk about organizing around issues other than abortion: things like comprehensive sex education, contraception equality, and prevention.

It’s also more than your typical training.. It’s mostly hands on. I absolutely love things like this because it inspires me. I returned to South Dakota ready to take on the world! Maybe not, but at least this tiny little piece of it.

So, I’ve learned more about recruiting volunteers, retaining volunteers, organizing events, etc…. Don’t be surprised if you hear from me in the near future.

And… as long as you’re taking the time to read this, why don’t you go ahead and click on that volunteer tab up there. Not sure you have time? How about checking out our donate page?

One more thing… a special thanks to our wonderful hosts in Oregon: Tess, Lindsay, and Kyle. You all are amazing women. It was a real pleasure.

1 comment:

Jessica said...

Hi Shannon - It was so fun to attend the Live Action Camp with you in Oregon! And, I love your blog!