Valentine’s day dance benefits Richmond Reproductive Freedom Project

Photo by James Galloway

James Galloway
Contributing Writer

Photo by James Galloway

The Richmond Reproductive Freedom Project held their first-ever fundraising event of its kind Tuesday with “FREAK LOVE,” a dance party featuring several DJs in Balliceaux’s dance hall on Lombardy Street.

Angelica De Jesus, a pre-med senior at VCU and one of five organizers of the event, said last year the project raised $19,000 for low-income women in need and, expecting more than a hundred people in attendance, hoped to see the dance raise a considerable amount of money.

“We wanted people to come out and have fun on Valentine’s Day,” said Janissa Hamilton, who helped organize the fundraiser. “We felt like it was an appropriate holiday for people to help each other.”

Hamilton said women who need money for abortions, transportation to clinics or other assistance relating to reproductive health usually go directly to their website seeking assistance.

Hamilton said some states provide help to low-income women who need abortions, but more states do not provide help.

“A lot of states do provide that, but there are about 32 states that don’t,” she said, “and Virginia is one of them.”

The project’s main source of donations, she said, are random donations of about $25 at a time.

De Jesus said the organization is able to provide about $1,000 per month to women without access to transportation or the means to pay for visits to a clinic. Hamilton said their monthly payout is normally dispersed between up to 10 to 12 people.

“It’s a lot of different people,” she added.

“It’s a smaller organization than (the National Abortion Federation),” said Rose Gamble, who works at a women’s health clinic and helped organize the fundraiser. She said sometimes RRFP will refer people to NAF who can not afford women’s health services.

Hamilton stipulated that because RRFP is local, they are able to provide more specialized services to women such as transportation.

“Just getting women to and from the clinics can be a big deal,” she said.

 

 

For help, or to donate, visit the Richmond Reproductive Freedom Project’s website at rrfp.net.

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