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Urgent Appeal: Support CVDoulas & Leadership!

urgent appeal

Hey everyone! This is Atena Danner, Board Chair of Chicago Volunteer Doulas. I’m here with an urgent appeal on behalf of the board:

I am reaching out today, because we find ourselves facing an emergency situation that calls for your immediate assistance. Long story short: through no fault of our team, CVD is missing critical operational funds and needs money in the bank ASAP to stabilize payroll and support our executive director who has been working to bandage this budget wound. We need your help to stop the domino effect of absent funds!

CVD, Chicago’s cherished birth and reproductive justice organization, has been a beacon of life-saving Doula care since 2007. Since taking the wheel earlier this year, our E.D., Lakeesha Harris, has been the spark igniting transformative work to keep Doulas at the heart of this work and connected with those who need their support. She has led healing work in response to recent hard times within our community and in the face of leadership transitions, increasingly misogynist and transphobic health care conditions, and so much collective trauma, Lakeesha’s labor has made CVD stronger, and illuminated our Doula-centered strategic vision, guided by principles of birth justice, anti-racism, margins-to-center.

Unfortunately, we are now in a dire financial crisis that threatens to douse that hard-won progress and snuff out CVD’s capacity to support our Doulas in the essential work they do.

Due to some clerical mishaps outside of our org’s control, funds that Lakeesha diligently raised have not reached our bank account. Without immediate financial assistance, we may have to scale back or even shut down some of our vital programs. Lakeesha has used her own money to bridge the gap and see that Doulas get paid, and in spite of doing her job incredibly well, the stress of this situation puts her well-being at risk, too.

CVD survived the COVID-19 pandemic that hit us all hard - we need your solidarity and support to overcome this setback and continue to focus on birth and reproductive justice!

This is where we appeal to your solidarity and compassion to keep CVD’s torch lit. We are urgently seeking donations to ensure the survival of CVD and to continue this transformative work.

Your contribution, no matter how big or small, makes a profound difference, allowing us to:

  • Maintain payroll so Doulas are compensated and able to take care of themselves; their crucial work is threatened if they cannot depend on income.

  • Reimburse our executive director, Lakeesha, for the funds she generously poured into CVD to honor the labor of our staff and Doulas.

  • Keep our doors open and our staff employed, ensuring that Lakeesha and the CVDoulas can continue their impactful work.

Countless pregnancies, births, and families in and around Chicago have been held in compassionate care for over fifteen years thanks to dedicated Doulas with a vision of equity. Help us sustain this revolutionary work forward, into the future!



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