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PIH Engage Makes a $250K Ebola Commitment

Dear PIH Engage,

As you all know, the Ebola epidemic is emerging as one of the defining global health challenges of our time. Partners In Health has made a major commitment to support our partners Last Mile Health and Wellbody Alliance in Liberia and Sierra Leone respectively.

Last night, to discuss how we should respond, PIH Engage -- 152 of us to be precise -- struggled to join a conference call line which was literally being overwhelmed with calls. On the Facebook group discussion board, people chattered away that they had to try more than 20 times to get in to the line. Most eventually did.

The call was energizing and inspiring. We heard from Dr. Joia Mukherjee who was recently returned from Liberia where she met with partner organization Last Mile Health and others in country to begin to devise our programmatic strategy. Dr. Mukherjee urged PIH Engage to join with Partners In Health in this fight. She said, "We don't need tens or hundreds in this fight, we need thousands or millions." PIH Engage has the potential to bring a grassroots network to bear on bringing many, many more into the movement to strengthen health systems and protect the right to health.

And, as a group, PIH Engage unanimously voted to dive head first into an Ebola campaign. We committed to a three part strategy to bring more people into a critical conversation about Ebola, leverage massive grassroots resources, and advocate for a long-term, systems-building response. 

We will, across more than 100 chapters:

  • Host Ebola Teach-Ins to help more people learn the root causes of the epidemic.
  • Host Ebola Phone-a-Thons and online personal fundraising campaign to raise $250,000 for the response between now and October 25th.
  • Generate advocacy action through letters to the editor, letters to Congress, and events on the Global Day of Action, October 25th.

Here are our immediate next steps:

  1. Monday, September 29th: Save the date for our Ebola Campaign Conference Call #2. We need more than 150 people on this conference call. 
  2. We are sending an email today (9/23), close to 2pm ET, with all of the relevant materials, toolkits, information on setting up personal fundraising pages, how to host a successful phone-a-thon meeting, and more details on advocacy messages. Please read it carefully, share it with your leadership team, and begin to set plans for your chapter.
  3. Read this call to action by Dr. Joia Mukherjee, written from Liberia.

Friends, this is an important moment for us -- to link this emergency situation to a long-term, solidarity-and-love-based response from a movement of individuals across the country. 

Thank you all for thinking big, taking this on, and working alongside us to show what's really possible in the face of great challenges. We need you now more than ever. 

Onward,

Jon

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