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Want to make a difference AND be part of an awesome community? Look no further than volunteering with Planned Parenthood! Check out the awesome things our volunteers did in October 2019.

Prosperity Connection Family Fall Festival

We are proud to support Prosperity Connection’s work to provide financial literacy and education in our community. Our volunteer table captains managed the Planned Parenthood booth at the Prosperity Connection Family Fall Festival at the Pagedale Excel Center on October 3.

Sista Strut Breast Cancer Walk 2019

Planned Parenthood staff and supporters woke up early to strut their stuff at the 10th Annual Sista Strut Breast Cancer Walk in downtown St. Louis! Sista Strut draws people together in 16 cities across the U.S. with the mission of increasing breast cancer awareness and early detection among women of color, honoring survivors, and benefitting local organizations in the fight against breast cancer.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, while black and white women get breast cancer at similar rates, breast cancer death rates for black women are 40% higher. Sista Strut seeks to change this sobering statistic by promoting education and early detection while providing hope for a cure.

Grove Fest

Grove Fest is one of the most anticipated events of the year for our volunteers. The street festival has been showcasing local businesses, music, and art for 14 years. This year, we enjoyed having students from MedX, Washington University’s public health club, volunteer with us! Our outreach volunteers gave out information on Planned Parenthood’s services, collected “I Stand with Planned Parenthood” petitions, and gathered more than 150 signatures from registered Missouri voters who support putting Medicaid expansion on the ballot in 2020. Thanks to the hard work of our dedicated volunteers who gathered signatures over the past eight weeks, we have surpassed our organizational goal of collecting 2,000 signatures for the Medicaid expansion ballot initiative!

Safer Sex Kit Assembly Party

In preparation for our Halloween Condom Crawl, volunteers assembled safer sex kits while enjoying pizza and snacks and watching the beloved Disney classic, Halloweentown. Our safer sex kits contain two condoms, a packet of lubrication, instructions in both English and Spanish on how to use a condom, health services information, and information about The Right Time, an initiative that provides free birth control to those who are uninsured or underinsured.

Halloween Condom Crawl

Planned Parenthood volunteers participated in their own version of trick-or-treating for our Halloween Condom Crawl on October 25. Supporters donned their favorite costumes and went out in teams to distribute free safer sex kits to bar patrons throughout the Grove, Central West End, and the Delmar Loop.

Volunteer of the Month

Each month we highlight one outstanding Planned Parenthood Volunteer. This month's Volunteer of the Month is Robin Frisella. See our Q & A below to learn more about Robin and her experience with volunteering!

Q: Why is it important for you to volunteer at Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region?

I volunteer at Planned Parenthood because I believe everyone deserves safe, affordable, judgment-free health care. As things became dire in our state, I knew I needed to step up to do my small part in fighting for this right. As an escort, I want every patient to be greeted by a friendly face. During lobby days, I want my representative to hear my voice. During direct actions, I want to be a visible representation for fellow Missourians. Most importantly, I want the staff of Planned Parenthood to know that I proudly stand behind them and appreciate all that they do in fighting for reproductive justice.

Q: Do you have a favorite volunteer experience with Planned Parenthood?

This is a hard question because I have so many memorable moments, but one of my favorites came recently during escorting. It was a particularly active protest day outside the clinic and a patient drove in and walked over to myself and another escort. She shared with us that Planned Parenthood had saved her life five years ago by helping diagnose her cervical cancer. She is now cancer-free and still returns to the clinic for her yearly exams. This was such a special example that Planned Parenthood changes AND saves lives.

Q. What else would you like to share about volunteering with Planned Parenthood?

If you have been considering volunteering with Planned Parenthood, now is the time! There are so many ways to show your support, you can phone bank, canvass, lobby, escort, fundraise, protest, etc. Our state needs you, not to mention that you'll be surrounded by the most amazing group of volunteers and staff!

Upcoming Events and Volunteer Opportunities

Get Covered during Open Enrollment

At Planned Parenthood, we understand people in our community often face barriers to accessing the quality health care they deserve. Many people delay or forgo the health care they need due to cost, leading to poorer long term health outcomes. Health insurance not only helps to protect families from the financial burden of high medical costs, but it also provides access to free screenings and care to prevent illness.

Planned Parenthood is here to help families in our community get covered! Open enrollment, the period when you can enroll in or change health insurance plans on the Health Insurance Marketplace, is November 1-December 15. Plans begin January 1, 2020.

Our certified application counselors provide free in-person assistance with applying and enrolling in a qualified health plan through the Health Insurance Marketplace. Assistance is available by appointment only at Planned Parenthood Central West End, West County, and St. Peters health centers.

Contact Brenda Cross at 314-531-7526 ext 358, or [email protected], to get your questions answered and sign up for an appointment. You can find more information about health insurance on our website and at https://covermissouri.org/.

Get Involved

Keep up to date and register for opportunities to volunteer with Planned Parenthood! Get updates all month long by following us on social media. Links can be found at the top of the page.

To join a weekly phone bank on Wednesday evenings, please contact Willie Peete at [email protected]

If you have any questions about our volunteer programs or this newsletter, please contact Brenda Cross at [email protected] or 314-531-7526 ext. 358.