By Aspen Baker
“Are all your board members this involved?” Deb, a donor in Seattle, asked me as we both waved goodbye to Julie, a board member who had just co-hosted a fundraising party at Deb’s home in November 2009.
“Yep!” I said. “It’s very impressive,” she replied.
Impressive is a great word to describe the board service of Jennifer Rudy, Julie Davidson-Gómez and Susan Osborne. Brought onto the board of directors as a cohort in 2005, Jen, Julie and Susan have recently left the board after successful completion of our maximum board term: two, three-year stints of service. From their board member orientation to their transition celebration, their leadership has shaped what Exhale is today; and what we will become in the future. (more…)
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By Nikko Merlander, Exhale Counselor
As a volunteer with Exhale since early 2008, I have heard time and time again that women and men using Exhale’s services were grateful for Exhale’s support. Yet, as a social worker who is interested in the evaluation and effectiveness of services, I wanted to know more about why Exhale’s services seemed to be so well-received. I saw an opportunity for mutual learning—to both dive into research that is important to me and to contribute to Exhale’s ongoing learning about what works for the women reaching out for post-abortion support.
I created a survey to explore women’s experiences receiving services from Exhale. This was a chance for the women taking the survey to be heard, anonymously, in a larger arena. What I most hoped for was that the feedback survey respondents gave could be used to give direction and guidance to professionals and organizations in the abortion field across the United States. What better way to understand how to improve post-abortion services than to listen to the needs and experiences of those who have had an abortion experience?
And so the women spoke! Survey respondents overwhelmingly stated that the most important aspects of their experiences with Exhale were those that connected them to other women, validated their experiences, and empowered them in finding well-being. Most simply put, respondents seemed to be saying that they come to Exhale to receive non-judgmental services that value their unique experiences while also reassuring them that they are not alone. (more…)
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