Money and Goods Drive for Birthing Women!

Dear Friends and Family,

Most of you know that I've been working on and off as a doula (professional labor and birth support person and educator) in Honduras since 2008. This work has always been a tremendous gift to me-- I've learned an incredible amount and experienced incredible joy supporting Honduran women in childbirth, just as I do in my practice as a doula here in the US!

In December I'll be returning for the third time to Hospital Atlantida in the beautiful coastal city of La Ceiba for a ten-day labor and deliver practicum. This is not an altruistic mission-- I need to complete recertification paperwork, and this trip will allow me to do so quickly and efficiently while visiting a country and community that I've come to adore. For me, it's vacation!

I'm proud to work at the Hospital Atlantida because no woman is turned away there. Women from all over La Ceiba come to receive (sometimes lifesaving) maternity care.

As long as I've been going to Honduras, my incredibly generous, empathic friends and family have asked if they could offer donations in support of the women and babies I work with. In the past, this hasn't been feasible, but for the first time, after a lot of soul-searching, I've decided to do some goods-collection and fundraising with the goal of disbursing the goods and funds through the wonderful Dar La Luz Honduras program during my time in La Ceiba from Dec. 14-Dec. 26. 

I'll be collecting goods and funds (more details below), between now and Dec. 12 If you'd like to make a donation, please review the details below and decide what you'd like to offer. Again, please let me know if you have any questions about this.

I am so grateful for each of you.



MONEY: Any money donated will purchase medical supplies, birth coping supplies and birth education materials for use by myself and Dar La Luz Honduras at the hospital Atlantida in La Ceiba and at small clinics in the rural areas around La Ceiba.

You can donate money by going to www.paypal.com and sending a donation of any amount to DoulaWorkInHonduras@gmail.com

I will email you to confirm that your donation has gone through, and will then share with you the Google Spending Spreadsheet.

GOODS: If you'd like to donate material goods, please note that I'm only going to be carrying over specific things. I've created a very exciting Amazon Baby registry based on the Dar La Luz wishlist-- just point, click, buy and it will ship right to me! 


HUGS: I will accept all hug donations personally. They are also very helpful. 

If you are interested in donating, please do read the FAQ below so that you can understand the way things will work!

Anna's Collection of Goods and Funds for the Hospital Atlantida/Dar la Luz Honduras FAQ

Hey, Anna, you've been working as doula in Honduras for years. Why are you asking for donations now?

For as long as I've been doing this work, I've struggled with whether or not to facilitate the donation of material goods and money between the projects I've worked on in Honduras and my loved ones back home in DC and NC. I've been afraid, primarily, of two things:

--That there was not a way for me to facilitate donations in a manner that made sense or was truly beneficial to the communities/organizations I work with. That's why in the past I've just encouraged people to donate money to groups like Doctors without Border who have more sophisticated systems for the collections and disbursement of donations.

--That the donation of material goods and money from one group to another often creates or perpetuates problematic relationships of 'charity', in turn supporting the systems that create and maintain global and local inequalities.

A few things have changed recently that have led me to believe that the collection of donations for the women of the Hospital Atlantida would be helpful and feasible:

1. My friend Silvia Bahr established Dar La Luz Honduras, a nonprofit organization that provides labor support, childbirth education, nursing support and health educator training to women and families in La Ceiba and in surrounding rural area. Organizations Dar La Luz make the the process of donation more feasible and fruitful because they allow for greater consistency, sustainability and accountability in disbursement of goods and funds.

2. Conditions at the Hospital Atlantida have worsened considerably in the part year. Much of the hospital beyond the ER and the Labor and Delivery ward has been shut down this fall due to doctor strikes. There is a serious shortage of medical supplies in the hospital-- women are laying open on birthing tables while their relatives rush out to buy needed antibiotics and sutures needed to close them up. Yes. People have had to supply their own sutures.

In light of these conditions, and in light of all of the generous people here in my community who have offered support, I feel that it would be unfair not help my beloved community here in the US to offer crucial support to my beloved community in Honduras.

My feelings about the problems of material aid to foreign countries have not changed overall. This feels like the right thing to do right now. I'm doing my best to think it through carefully and take the advice of people I trust.

What kinds of work does Dar la Luz do, and what will you do in La Ceiba?

Glad you asked! You can find great details here:


Why aren't you just asking us to donate directly to Dar La Luz?

You can totally do that! Do it! Go for it! The only reason I'm collecting supplies and funds myself right now is because Dar La Luz is a tiny organization with limited staffing, which can make the disbursement of money and goods go slowly sometimes. Additionally, certain goods are harder for them to get themselves, so I'll be bringing those things over.

I'll be able to help disburse goods and funds while I'm in Honduras, always following Dar La Luz guidelines, which will help things move along faster and relieve the overworked Dar La Luz staff.

Can I donate material goods?

Certain medical supplies, childbirth education and labor coping supplies will be easier to purchase in the US and transport to Honduras. You can see the full list of labor coping supplies that Dar la Luz needs, including medical supplies, birth balls, pelvic, baby and breast models, dilation charts and medical charts here and purchase them through an Amazon Registry here:


Beyond these specific items, it's easiest and best to fund the purchase of items in Honduras. 

Where will donated money go?

I will be able to purchase many items once I get to Ceiba. This will reduce checked baggage costs and support Honduran business people! These items include:

-Diapers and menstrual pads. Women must bring their own to the hospital-- if they don't have any they simply go without. 

-Cans of fruit nectar for women to drink directly after birth. Women are not allowed to eat or drink (even water) in the labor rooms, and they depend on family to bring them food and drink in the postpartum room. Offering them a cold fruit drink directly after birth replenishes their hydration, blood sugar and electrolytes. This is crucial for their recovery and for successful breastfeeding. 

-Some Medical supplies perhaps including:
            Sterile scissors (for safe cord cutting and prevention of umbilical tetanus, a top      cause of neonatal mortality in Honduras)
            Suture packs
            Blood pressure cuffs
            Cord care kits

-Baby clothes, hats and blankets

-Supplies for sewing nursing pillows

Hey, Anna, will any of this money pay for your travel, food or lodging in Honduras?

Nope! I pay my own way 100%.

Hey, Anna, what can you offer in return for my donation?

I recognize that donations feel more meaningful when those who give have the chance to receive information about the places and people that benefit from their generosity. I love Honduras (especially Ceiba), and I can't wait to share it with you via pictures and writing!

I also feel that it's very important that people who donate money and goods know exactly how those things are used. Here's what I can promise by way of informational accounting:

-Regular blog updates from La Ceiba with general information about my activities.
-Rad pictures, whenever it is possible and ethically appropriate.
-A detailed accounting via Google Spreadsheet of the money that I spend and the items that I distribute. Technology will make this fairly easy. You deserve to know where your money is going!

Hey, Anna, is there anything you can't offer in return?

It's important for me to balance my desire for accountability with the crucial best practices of the doula profession. For this reason, I cannot offer:

-Stories about specific women or babies, detail of specific births.
-Pictures of the women or babies I work with, except with their specific, signed consent.

How will the money/goods be collected and disbursed?

I've put a lot of thought into how I might collect donations in a way that is transparent, accountable, easy to organize and separate from my own finances. Here's what I came up with.

Those who wish to donate can do so through the Paypal account linked to DoulaWorkInHonduras@gmail.com. This account is not linked to my personal finances in any way.

1. Before leaving the US, I will transfer all funds from that Paypal account to a prepaid Honduran Visa card and use that card to purchase supplies in La Ceiba. My first purchase with that card will be checked baggage fees for the childbirth education supplies that I'll be bringing along. It's hard to get these things in Honduras, so it's best to buy them in the US.

2. Beyond that, all money will be used to purchase goods directly for women and babies at Hospital Atlantida and for the Dar la Luz Program. When I make a purchase, I will account for those funds on a Google spreadsheet viewable by all donors. 

3. I will either distribute the items personally at the hospital or give them to Silvia Bahr, director of Dar La Luz Honduras, for distribution in La Ceiba and in rural mountain communities nearby.

4. At the end of my trip, I will donate the remaining funds on the card to Dar La Luz Honduras.

I don't want to give money directly to you, but I do want to help. What should I do?

If you wish to donate money to support maternal and child health but would rather do so in another way, here are some ideas:

-Make a direct donation to Dar la Luz Honduras 


-Make a donation to Doctors Without Borders in honor of the women and babies of La Ceiba.


-Make a donation to Mary's Center in Washington, DC in honor of the women and babies of La Ceiba.


If you choose this option, please do let me know so that I can include you in my thank-yous!

As always, I'm so grateful for your support and empathy. If you'd like suggestions for researching La Ceiba, the Hospital Atlantida, the work of Dar La Luz or the benefits of labor support from doulas, I'm happy to provide you with resources.

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