Water birth in the Media:
There is much good news about all the accomplishments, media coverage and positive press that waterbirth in general has been having. At this moment we are on the eve of the theatrical release of Ricki Lake's film, The Business of Being Born, reviewed today in the New York Times, and the completion of Debra Pascali Bonero's groundbreaking movie, Orgasmic Birth. Just last week, ABC's "Good Morning America" featured a segment on unassisted birth at home in water. So waterbirth is currently getting extensive exposure.
This is all happening at the same time that Waterbirth International (WBI), our not-for-profit organization, is in a very critical situation. Unanticipated costs and challenges in producing the Gentle Birth World Congress have resulted in a debt of $200,000. We are now facing the prospect of closing our doors and, thus, ending our educational and charitable work in the world. Those who know me personally recognize that only dire circumstances could bring this about. I have already mortgaged my house and maxed out both the business and personal credit cards in an attempt to cover a small part of this debt.
A Plea that circles the Globe: from Barbara Harper-
There are times in our lives when we stop and wonder: What does it all mean; why do things happen the way they do? Perhaps it is a good thing that Waterbirth International is in such a precarious financial position, because it is forcing us to reach out to the broader community.
A letter I wrote on January 8th, asking for help, went to one person who posted it online, and it is now circulating on the Internet through grass-roots organizations, midwifery and doula groups. The show of support in response to this letter has been wonderful and generous. It made me feel down to the depths of my soul how appreciated and loved I am and how much everyone wants Waterbirth International to continue. I am so very grateful for this confirmation of our importance to the community. However, I can't do this alone. I don't want to do this alone. I am humbled to have been leading the way for waterbirth for the past 24 years.
What YOU can do to help:
I am now entrusting the destiny of Waterbirth International to all of you. We need to raise at least $200,000 in immediate funding and also to create a plan for sustainability and growth. We have created a donation page on our website, and we welcome any level of financial support. Here are some ideas:
Include us in your prayers
Talk to people about waterbirth
Buy a birth pool for yourself
Buy a birth pool and donate it to your local midwife
Send people to our website - link it on your website or blog
Leap Year Special 'til 2/29 - buy one DVD and get one ½ price (selected titles) - Donate your 2nd copy to your local library or hospital
Show Birth Into Being or Gentle Birth Choices locally, charge a small fee, and send us a contribution
Hold a fundraiser and donate the proceeds
Make a donation of any amount
Become a Contributing member ($35)
Become a Professional Member ($100)
Become a "Life Time" Member ($1000)
Ask grandparents to make a charitable contribution in their grandchild's name
If you are a midwife make sure your clients know to register their babies on the"I Was Born in Water" list on the website
Put up a donation jar in your office
Guide us to people with financial means