June 3rd, 2013
Have you been waiting for the other rental shoe to drop?
The total numbers are now in from this spring's National Abortion Access Bowl-a-Thon, and we are bowled over: In the largest event of its kind, activists this year went balls out, breezing past goals to strike Hyde: Together, you raised over $553,000 for abortion access!
That's more than $50,000 over the initial goal, surpassing everyone's wildest expectations--an additional amount that represents hundreds more phone calls funds can answer.
The 4th Annual National Abortion Access Bowl-a-Thon, by the numbers:
- Individual bowlers, karaoke stars, and pool sharks: 2,008
- Teams of rollers, rebels, and rowdies: 415
- Cities that held Bowl-a-Thons, Triathlon-a-Thons, and Billiards-a-Thons: 29
- Virtual Bowl-a-Thons: 1
- Abortion funds that benefited directly from the Bowl-a-Thon: 27, including Mississippi!
- Individual donors: 10,843 donors making 12,588 donations
- Average donation: $44
- Percentage of donations $25 and under: 70
- Weekends that the volume of donations crashed the server: 1
- Smallest donation: $1.00
- Largest donation: $5,000, in the form of a matching gift that went to the Eastern Massachusetts Abortion Fund and to one of the NEWEST funds, the New Orleans Abortion Fund in the Gulf Coast region!
That's right: you raised over a half a million dollars in $25 increments. (Just imagine what the possibilities would be if Medicaid chipped in!)
There was no blue state / red state division: bowlers found support in Arkansas and California alike. From Georgia and Hawaii and yes, Alaska. From flyover country and from the coasts. And from around the world: people in places including Hong Kong, Ireland, Australia and Germany pitched in to help make this a bigger Abortion Access Bowl-a-Thon than we could ever imagine!
Yes, there were LOLcats. There were gifs. There were rock stars, like The Mountain Goats, and award-winning authors, like Katha Pollitt. There were teams of activists from allied organizations, like NARAL Pro-Choice America, who know their way around a cue stick. There were bridesmaids, robots, and trophies galore. So many costumes! And the puns...oh, the puns.
But mostly there were the 2000+ bowlers who channeled their compassion and creativity into appealing to the best in their friends, their families and their neighbors. Appealing to their sense of justice, knowing that no matter what their bowling score was, or how off-key they sang, or how unlikely it was that they would ever nail a 7-2 split, that their efforts would mean that when a woman calls her abortion fund for help, that fund will have her back.
Thank you to everyone who bowled, sang, or donated for abortion access in the 4th Annual Abortion Access Bowl-a-Thon. You made this the best Bowl-a-Thon yet!
April 13th, 2013
Congratulations to Sara "Sparo" Slater, this week's National Abortion Access Bowl-a-Thon Page of the Week Winner!
Sara is bowling this weekend with the CAIR Project in Seattle, which helps women in Washington, Idaho, Oregon, and Alaska--Alaska!--get the abortions they need.
Her page was nominated because she really puts it all on the line: her story begins, "I was 16 years old and realized I couldn't remember my last period..."
April 5th, 2013
Congratulations to April Greene, this week's National Abortion Access Bowl-a-Thon Page of the Week winner!
A little over a year ago, April worked her first hotline shift for the Georgia Reproductive Justice Access Network, which she had helped to get off the ground in 2011 to help low-income women of northeast Georgia. Later that year, she had her beautiful baby, seen here growling with her mama as they take on the forces that deny anyone the medical care they need.
And just this past month, April went back to the hotline for the first time since her baby was born, convinced more than ever that it was time to bowl. In her area of Georgia, 18% of the population lives in poverty and there are no abortion providers.
"In early 2012, I worked my first shift for GRJAN. All week I spoke on the phone to a woman who was trying to line up enough money to make an appointment for her abortion. I remember sneaking away a few times a day to answer her calls or to call her back, adamant about reassuring her that I was still here. She already had a child, a son with a disability, and she had moved to Georgia from a state where Medicaid covered abortion. She was pissed that Georgia offered no such coverage, and I was pissed for her.
After a few days, we scrounged up enough money from her personal resources and other abortion funds to help her feel comfortable about making her appointment, and I pledged her GRJAN's $100 weekly budget. The last time we spoke, she reiterated just how mad she was that she had to jump through so many hoops to pay for her abortion. Over a year later, I still feel her anger."
April's page was nominated because she and her daughter are so obviously awesome (not to mention adorable). And as a new fund in a drastically underserved area, the Georgia Reproductive Justice Access Network will benefit greatly from the support and the cash infusion that the Abortion Access Bowl-a-Thon brings. We love the determination of April and her fellow board members and volunteers in northeast Georgia, and pity the fool who doesn't check out April's page! Growl!
GRJAN's current weekly budget is $100. All donations, no matter how small, make a great difference to this fledgling fund, and you can help out at April's Bowl-a-Thon page right here.
To check out past winners and nominate a page of the week, click here. Every Friday we will showcase a new winner!
March 29th, 2013
Congratulations to the Puck Ferrys, this week's National Abortion Access Bowl-a-Thon Page of the Week winners!
The Puck Ferrys are bowling for the Lilith Fund for Reproductive Equity in good old Austin, Texas, where they have their work cut out for them. Sure, their red state politics can make them blue, but they rile 'em up and get 'em ornery, too!
Most Bowl-a-Thon teams have five or six people, but you know what they say: everything's bigger in Texas, and the Puck Ferrys have eight, count 'em, EIGHT, bowlers cracking wise and raising funds for abortion access deep in the heart of Texas, including high-powered bloggers for reproductive justice Jessica Luther and Andrea Grimes, and none other than NARAL Pro-Choice Texas Executive Director Heather Busby. When it comes to protecting abortion rights, these gals know how to circle the wagons.
As you may have heard, it's been a tough couple of years in Texas, even in that bastion of loveable-lefty weirdness, Austin. As Andrea says on her Bowl-a-Thon page (note: possibly NSFW), "in Texas, we may love our boots, but not everybody's come with the same straps."
But the Puck Ferrys have buckled down and amassed what must be the largest collection of animated gifs in the entire Bowl-a-Thon...and they're so close to meeting their ambitious goal of raising $5,000 for abortion access that they may be forced to raise it before the April 28 day of bowling action!
For a good time, click here and explore any one of these bowlers' gif-laden pages.
And to check out past winners or nominate a page of the week, click here.
March 22nd, 2013
FLAW stands for "Fight Laws Against Women" and they are a far-flung, loose-knit band of abortion fund activists whose goal is to "help women whose path is fraught with peril," as Ann B says on her page. Other bowlers on this virtual team are "The Luscious Liz Bad Law Killa," "Amy S," and "Lenora de la Luna," who is offering a valuable incentive prize for donors to her efforts.
Unlike the bowlers in the dozens of other bowl-a-thons (and mini-golf-a-thons and game-a-thons) taking place this year, FLAW is doing something a little different -- they are bowling in the virtual realm, competing to raise money to directly help the National Network of Abortion Funds--that's us!--do our work.
FLAW members are located everywhere. They're in Arizona. They're in Alabama. In New York. In Maryland. They're everywhere.
What's more, FLAW is recruiting. That's right. If you live in a town without an abortion fund and you have a passion for reproductive justice, FLAW wants you. To join their virtual team, just go to FLAW's page and click on the join this team link.
To check out past winners and nominate a page of the week, click here.
March 15th, 2013
Val knows her audience. She unabashedly manipulates our tribal instincts, pitting cat people and dog people against one another in her zeal for getting more donations for the DC Abortion Fund, and as of this date is a third of her way to her goal.
March 8th, 2013
What makes Jennifer's page so great? She received multiple nominations, every one of which mentioned that THERE IS FRENCH ON HER BOWL-A-THON PAGE. Pretty impressive, non? Jennifer is bowling to help the Network for Reproductive Options in Eugene, Oregon, because even the powers of wizardry can't keep the price of abortion from going up. Even though Oregon stands out as the only state with no abortion restrictions, the Network for Reproductive Options talks to hundreds of women a year who are not able to come up with the $500 minimum for an abortion on short notice.
And what else makes Jennifer herself so great? She started this fund back in 2002 when the only listed abortion provider in Eugene had to close its doors. In an interview in 2010, she said, "To me, it's a justice issue. Women should be able to get abortions if they need them, whether or not they can pay for them and no matter where they live." Oui!
Bonne chance, Les Superchouettes!
To check out past winners and nominate a page of the week, click here. Every Friday we will showcase a new winner!
March 1st, 2013
We received many impressive nominations, from wizards in the Pacific Northwest to lemurs in the nation's capital, to an alluring homage to Maude Lebowksi...and all of these achievers will be in the running for next week's award, but today, in honor of sequestration, we're naming Dylan our hero.
Dylan bowled last year, when the Carolina Abortion Fund was just getting off the ground. Now he's on the board, and he's even more motivated to raise funds to help the women who call. As the board chair said in her nomination, "Dylan wrote an amazing message that brought me to tears. He should win because he cares. So. Much."
Dylan doesn't have any fancy gifs on his page. He's not offering salted caramels or piggyback rides or a year's worth of extreme couponing tips in exchange for a contribution to the Freedom Rollers.
No, Dylan has raised nearly $2000--and counting!-- for the Carolina Abortion Fund this year by telling it like it is:
"I have literally hung up our hotline in tears after telling yet another woman that we cannot help her. I'm in tears but I can't imagine what she is going through. For these women putting food on the table is hard enough--dealing with the cost of an abortion is back-breaking. I am angry that this situation exists in our country. There is such a wide gap between what people need and what they receive. But thankfully there is so much that we can do. I am proud of what you and I and everyone who has already helped the women of North Carolina has done, but there is much left to do."
We love Dylan's hopefulness and his faith that people can and will come through. Please check out his page and the hilarious levels of giving, from gravel to platinum!
Way to go, Dylan! It's because of you that the Bowl-a-Thon is such a success and that the Carolina Abortion Fund can be a safety net when the system fails.
To check out past winners and nominate a page of the week, click here. Every Friday we will announce a new winner!
February 22nd, 2013
Colin was nominated for his "vault of cat pictures" and you have to agree, they're hard to resist. Any time someone donates to Colin's efforts on behalf of ACCESS Women's Health Justice, he reaches into the vault and pulls out another cat gif. Which he then names for the benefactor. For example, here's "Val," skittering anxiously across the sheets looking for her cell phone:
ACCESS Women's Health Justice is an abortion fund in California founded in 1993 by clinic escorts who saw how many barriers there were for women who need abortion care -- from needing help with transportation, or translation and interpretation, childcare, or overnight housing for those travelling long distances. The volunteers organized to create short-term solutions to help anyone encountering these obstacles, and today ACCESS runs a bilingual healthline that does referrals and connects callers with volunteers, works for fair policies and trains new leaders in their community. Although they've participated in the National Abortion Access Bowl-a-Thon for the last few years, this is the first year they will have a Los Angeles event -- and it's looking good!
Check out Colin's page here. There's a cat with your name on it sitting in the cat vault, just waiting for you.
Want to nominate a Bowl-a-Thon page of the week? Click here. Every Friday we will announce a new winner!
February 15th, 2013
This entire team was nominated for "the nicknames and the mug shots, of course!"
The Feminist Drinking Club is bowling for Washington State's CAIR Project and has set an ambitious goal of raising $5,000 for abortion access -- that's going to go a long way to helping women in Washington, Idaho, Alaska, and Oregon, the area that this fund covers. Way to go, bowlers!