Fundraisers are typically viewed as a way for advocacy groups to capture money to support their cause and vision. Projects and programs need to capture money to make the magic happen. Overhead must be addressed for nonprofits as well, we have the same bills to pay that every other business has to address such as utilities, rent, office supplies. But as a POP advocate, I've always had a hard time looking at fundraising from the financial side-I tend to look at it from the awareness side. One more avenue to generate awareness of pelvic organ prolapse is a good thing in my book.
At a recent Ladies Night Fundraiser hosted in my home town by an amazing woman who owns a local restaurant with Latino cuisine along with two other female business owners, APOPS had the opportunity to share POP insights with event participants with POP educational materials at our table. Women of all ages attended; as is the norm, most women were quite uncomfortable talking about POP when they approached our display. We gently try to open up the topic for discussion and let women’s individual comfort zones lead the path. Some walk away immediately. Some grab materials for a friend who has mentioned symptoms. Very few ask pointed questions. It is clear we have much work ahead of us to shift awareness, but equally important, to shift the comfort zone.
Pelvic organ prolapse will follow the same path as breast cancer and erectile dysfunction; neither of these topics were talked about prior to paths of advocacy. Before onset of the breast cancer awareness campaign that began over 30 years ago, no one could say “breast” out loud. Pink ribbon has changed the way the world addresses breast cancer. Prior to the ED campaign initiated over 15 years ago, no one discussed erectile dysfunction. The little blue pill has changed the way the world addresses ED. Now both health conditions are talked about freely; soon POP will be on the same page.
Every fundraiser has tremendous value far beyond the money it generates to support APOPS. We need the world to know the impact of pelvic organ prolapse to women’s lives, physically, emotionally, socially, sexually, how it impacts our fitness regimens, how it impacts our employment. All women need to know the signs, the symptoms, the causes, the treatments, so they can recognize pelvic organ prolapse and improve their quality of life. Healthcare, industry, research, academia, and media need to recognize and acknowledge the massive need to generate change in the POP arena.
We need to work together to shift POP awareness; every brave individual, group, or company who hosts a fundraiser does so much more than capture funds to help APOPS do our work. Event hosts are brave soldiers working together to spawn what will likely be the biggest shift in women’s health the world has experienced to date.
*HELP RAISE AWARENESS-HOST A FUNDRAISER*