Announcement: We won an award from Planned Parenthood!

And by “we,” I mean all of us who have contributed stories to this blog. That’s right, Planned Parenthood gave their first-ever social media Maggie Award to us today! I went to the awards luncheon in Washington, DC, and here’s what I said:

First, thank you Planned Parenthood, not only for your health care and advocacy, but for championing women without fail, with what seems like without compromise. That’s rare in our political climate. Planned Parenthood has successfully negotiated that emotional connection we all feel to the work they do, whether that’s through their clinics or their advocacy, and turned it into a relationship. They’ve embraced social media, both their own properties and the wider world’s conversations.

But also, I’m sharing this award with all the women who shared their stories on Planned Parenthood Saved Me. It’s a crying shame that we live in a world where this is an act of bravery, but that’s what it was. The women that said, “I would have bled to death if it weren’t Planned Parenthood,” or “Planned Parenthood’s staff were the only people who understood me after I was assaulted,” or “Planned Parenthood found my cancer.” That’s what you do. That is your work, and we thank you.

Which is the last thing I want to share– I really want people to understand that PP Saved Me blew up not because Rachel Maddow read from it on her show, or that it was in the Washington Post and a dozen other major major outlets. More than half the traffic to the site came before any major media mention, and that traffic came from Facebook, Twitter & Tumblr.

Women sharing their stories with one another made the difference her. Our stories matter, more than ever.

I’m not just blowin’ smoke when I say this is our award, either. You all have been incredible, and I got choked up on stage talking about your bravery and excellence. Thank you, deeply, for your commitment and contributions. If I could hug you all, I would.


Brief interlude: Look at how we've grown. THANK YOU.

I’ve finally had a chance to crunch some numbers and look at media hits, and wanted to share some info about this amazing community that you’ve helped develop in the last few days.

We launched on Wednesday morning, and since then – 72 hours later – we’ve gotten:

You might think our crazy traffic came from those media mentions. Shockingly, no– most of the hits came before the major media. So, to repeat: telling and sharing our stories matters.

I can’t thank you enough for being here with me. When I started this, it was a bit of a lark– I just kept thinking about women and their stories, and how we could show what a difference Planned Parenthood has made. You did the rest. Thank you, thank you, thank you. 

Breaking: Komen VP Karen Handel resigns

See what you helped do?

A high-ranking official resigned Tuesday from the Susan G. Komen for the Cure breast-cancer charity after a dispute over whether the group should give funding to Planned Parenthood, according to a letter obtained by The Associated Press.

Karen Handel, the charity’s vice president for public policy, told Komen officials that she supported the move to cut off funding for Planned Parenthood. She said the discussion started before she arrived at the organization and was approved at the highest levels of the charity.

“I am deeply disappointed by the gross mischaracterizations of the strategy, its rationale, and my involvement in it,” Handel said in her letter. “I openly acknowledge my role in the matter and continue to believe our decision was the best one for Komen’s future and the women we serve.”

I still find Komen’s apology statement from last week dubious – it doesn’t say it will continue funding PP, but that it will honor existing commitments. 

OK, a bunch of things have been touched up. Help spread these stories?

Wow! I’m overwhelmed with what I’ve got coming in– YAY. I like this kind of being overwhelmed. I’ve got over 50 posts in the queue, which I might just have to post in large batches… forgive me for overwhelming your feeds temporarily. I just don’t want them to sit and languish til Saturday, ya know? Keep the stories coming too.

I’ve also added Twitter and Facebook like buttons, so if you can share stories that you like there, too, that would rock. I’m going to use the Twitter feed and Facebook page I set up for each as places to highlight and share stories; best place to get feedback or get in touch with me is my twitter handle: @randomdeanna.

Thanks again for the crazy love you’re showing this project. All those reblogs and favorites means so much to all of us participating here.