As an organization, we are honored to be able to help families who would not typically be able to access out-of-hospital care to have the opportunity through our grant program, regardless of how they identify. By providing a pathway to access evidence-based care for people who would not be able to access it without a grant, we are part of the solution that results in better outcomes for birthers and babies.
The events of the last few months are inspiring calls to action for many different communities. I have been struggling with what to say and how to say it for weeks. Finally, after driving our children to a rally organized by teenagers to protest the state of things in our country last Saturday, I am finding the nerve to speak. If teenagers can find the will and the courage to state their position, then certainly I as a 47-year old woman can find my voice.
I have been writing and re-writing this since then, trying to craft the perfect inclusive statement that honors all the people who walk in and out of our daily lives. As a Mexican-American Puerto Rican woman, I am inspired by the call to dismantle structural racism. My family has lived with it all my life. I am hopeful that we will find a better way to walk with each other in this world so that we are not “performing” to be accepted as we are – whole human beings with a variety of talents, aspirations and abilities. Wherever we strive to find our place, I hope that people of all colors, creeds, gender expressions and sexual orientations will be welcomed and accepted as human beings with ideas to contribute and skills to share.
By the same token, my heart is called to support first responders and their families. My husband and I have had several students that are police and fire fighters participate in our childbirth classes throughout the years. As a New Yorker, the events of 911 are still very real and raw. I thank God that there are people called to this work, for they are the one who run into burning buildings to save lives when the rest of us run away.
So, this is what I want to say: I feel your pain. I see your humanity. You are seen, respected and loved. There is no easy way forward. We are all human, capable of learning, growing and building a better place for all our children to thrive.
This year has invited us to learn and grow in ways that we have not been asked to explore before. Can all these different movements and calls to action co-exist? I believe that our Willow Wish board and volunteer team shows that yes, they can. Although we may believe differently, look differently, and belong to a variety of communities, we find a way to work together. I am grateful for this team that keeps Willow Wish fundraising to Grant Birth Choice, even through these interesting times. We will continue to do our work as a group of people who carry many perspectives and live in different colors, bound together by the belief that we do good when we support women and families who want evidence-based birth choices.
Director of Willow Wish