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Why I Volunteer

By Betty W.

I just had my 79th birthday. During my life, I was not always cognizant of issues related to sexual and reproductive health. I had experienced difficulties obtaining birth control pills for myself; listened to high school students express distress about being pregnant with no place to go for help; saw friends who had experienced a stillborn fetus, with no choice but to carry the pregnancy to term; listened to parents crying about not being able to care for another child; witnessed and heard children's awareness of being unwanted.

It took me a long time to put the big picture together: the unconditional need for universal reproductive rights and the right to have a safe place to go for sexual and reproductive health counseling and medical assistance. 

So, 20 years ago, I came to the conclusion that stepping up and giving time, as well as money, to the cause was something I wanted to do. I have volunteered in several roles over the years, all rewarding in their own way. Being a health center escort at the Rochester location gives me the feeling of supporting, even in a small way, someone who needs our care and may be struggling after encountering the protestors. I hope that my respectful greeting and smile bring a sense of comfort, and caring, and the knowledge that they are not alone or helpless.

Volunteer Betty sitting in the PPCWNY offices, smiling, wearing a blue sweater