2018; Volume 19, No 9, September


Ana Maria Restrepo

Volunteer Takes Fundraising Into Her Own Hands

When Ana Maria Restrepo left her job as IAHPC Membership Officer, moving from Texas to Florida, she stayed on as a volunteer, sending out thank-you letters to donors. When the donations by individuals and donors diminished, she found out why: a change in the US tax government rules limited the tax benefits that individual donors can claim when they make donations to not-for-profit organizations, such as IAHPC.

This means far fewer donors. So she decided to do something herself.

‘Everyone thinks they’re wealthy, financially, but the truth is that the IAHPC has to work really, really hard to get one penny,’ she says. ‘It’s not easy. I think that they have done a lot of good things with very little.’

Taking advantage of ‘the perfect moment’

When Ana Maria’s 60th birthday drew near, she thought of her continuing connection fostered over 17 years on the job, and how she might help.

‘When you see something growing with you, as IAHPC has done, it’s so hard to let it go. My birthday was the perfect moment to do something. I don’t need presents; I have everything I could wish for. I know that all donations to IAHPC are for helping people, and for educating palliative care workers. No one’s using it to take vacations!’

So she posted a request for donations instead of presents on her Facebook page. But she made one misstep: ‘I should have sent all my friends invitations to donate.’ She made her goal $200; the donations reached $255. Still, ‘it could have been much more!’

This is just the start

So Ana Maria has vowed to do it again, and again.

‘I’m planning to do it in December, and for my next birthday,’ she says. ‘Every time I see a celebration coming, I’ll do it!’ Some friends worried about donating via Facebook, but IAHPC Finance Officer Lina Rozo reassured that ‘donating through Facebook is an easy and secure way to support our cause. Facebook doesn’t share donor’s payment card information or third-party payment login information with sellers or with the recipients of a donation, or any other merchant.’

‘The first donation was from (Advocacy Officer) Katherine Pettus,’ says Ana Maria. ‘The second was from my sister, the third was from my brother-in-law. It’s very easy to do, it took my sister 30 seconds!’

New Fact Sheet on PC and Universal Health Coverage

A trio of international palliative care organizations (the WHPCA, IAHPC, and ICPCN) have published a fact sheet on Universal Health Coverage and palliative care. The fact sheet, based on the findings of The Lancet Commission Report on Palliative Care and Pain Relief, is an essential tool for national level palliative care advocacy.

You can download the two-page Palliative Care and Universal Health Coverage Fact Sheet from the WHPCA website.

‘Why should an essential package of palliative care be included within UHC packages?’ the fact sheet asks. The answer:

The fact sheet covers much ground quickly, including:

Reminder: Free IAHPC Membership for Undergrads

As a way to support undergraduate students who are currently attending university — regardless of their career or field — the IAHPC offers one year of free membership to all.

Some of the benefits that both undergraduates and post-graduate students will enjoy include: 1) free unlimited on-line access and downloads for full text articles from leading palliative care journals; 2) eligibility to participate in the traveling fellowship program, 3) IAHPC monthly e-newsletters with updates on palliative care advances around the world; 4) free access to the IAHPC’s website with resources; and many more!

The criteria are:

Undergrads can sign up here.

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