How RESOLVE Makes a Difference for the Infertility Community

How They Can Help You, How You Can Get Involved, and Why It Matters

Photo of infertility advocates in Washington, D.C. on Advocacy Day, a project of RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association
RESOLVE's Advocacy Day project enables people like you and me to get their voices heard on Capital Hill and make a true difference in the lives of those with infertility. RESOLVE

The National Infertility Association has been improving the lives of those with infertility since 1974. You may be familiar with their popular advocacy event in April, National Infertility Awareness Week®.

But RESOLVE is much more than this one-week event. They are active all year round, providing support and advocacy for the infertility community like no other organization.

I asked Betsy Campbell, RESOLVE's Director of Constituent Engagement , some questions via email about RESOLVE... how they got started, how the organization has made a difference, and what kind of support and advocacy opportunities they offer those with infertility.

Betsy is responsible for managing RESOLVE's nationwide volunteer network, including support groups, educational programs, and grassroots advocacy. She ensures their volunteers are well-trained and empowered as they support those in the infertility community and beyond. 

Betsy understands how very important infertility advocacy and support is from her own personal experience with secondary infertility. Her three daughters continue to inspire her in her work with RESOLVE.

If you're not that familiar with RESOLVE, or not sure how they can help you or how you can help them, I hope the interview below will answer your questions.

I hope it inspires you to also stand up and make a difference.

What Is RESOLVE?

RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association is dedicated to improving the lives of women and men facing infertility. 

As a charity, we provide free support to anyone in need; advocate for access to care and all family building options; and reduce the stigma of this misunderstood disease through public education, including on our website, www.resolve.org.

RESOLVE was literally started around a kitchen table in 1974. A nurse named Barbara Eck invited other women going through infertility into her home to support one another. 

RESOLVE now has more than 260 support groups across the country, and support remains a central pillar of our mission.  

RESOLVE has been instrumental in getting infertility recognized as a disease, including starting and leading the only federally recognized health observance for people with infertility – National Infertility Awareness Week® (NIAW), [which celebrated] its 27th year in 2016.

RESOLVE continues to work with HHS, NIH, the CDC and even the World Health Organization to make sure that the infertility patient voice is always represented.

Forty years ago and even just 10 years ago, we would never have imagined that people would want to come together in a public place and proclaim their infertility by wearing t-shirts they have made, but that’s exactly what we see at our Walk of Hope events across the country.

Our hope is that these Walks do for infertility what the Avon Walks and Susan G Komen races have done for breast cancer.

In 1974, there was no insurance coverage for infertility. Fifteen states now have laws requiring some level of insurance coverage for infertility treatment, and that’s not nearly enough.

RESOLVE won’t stop until medical treatment and adoption are accessible and affordable for everyone contending with infertility.

And, of course, there have been extraordinary changes in medical treatment and assisted reproductive technologies, and while these advances have helped patients, in some ways it’s actually harder to be an infertility patient today.

There are more family building options than ever, which leads to more decisions that must be made, which leads to more stress than ever, which brings us back full circle to why RESOLVE was started in the first place: to provide support at every stage of the infertility journey.

From Advocacy Day to National Infertility Awareness Week® to the Walk of Hope

National Infertility Awareness Week® makes a HUGE difference; in 2015 the infertility community was so active online that infertility awareness trended on Facebook and Twitter! 

More than 100 events were held and hundreds of blogs written that week to raise awareness about the disease of infertility and to let people know they are not alone.

Whether it’s a patient organizing a library exhibit, a professional hosting an educational open house, or the media spotlighting a local couple with infertility, NIAW is about the infertility community coming together and creating a grassroots movement to call attention to this disease.

The whole goal is to educate the public about infertility, and we have definitely seen increased awareness and acceptance since NIAW started 26 years ago. It is making a difference!

Two other big activities RESOLVE is known for are Advocacy Day and the nationally held Walk of Hope. Can you give us a quick summary of what these events do for the infertility community as a whole?

Both these events bring the infertility community together to proclaim that people with infertility matter. 

RESOLVE hosts the only Advocacy Day for the infertility community.  It’s our chance to tell lawmakers our stories and why Congress should increase access to care and family building through bills such as the Family Act and the Adoption Tax Credit Refundability Act.

Our Walks of Hope embody RESOLVE’s mission that no one with infertility should walk on this journey alone.  These events, held in cities across the country, bring together hundreds of people of all ages, including those diagnosed with infertility and the people and organizations that support them, and the funds raised enable RESOLVE to do even more to improve the lives of those with infertility. 

Everyone who attends a Walk of Hope or our Advocacy Day walks away feeling inspired and empowered, knowing they are part of a larger community that is making a difference.

Advocacy Day is a one-day event for most of the advocates coming to Washington, D.C., but I know RESOLVE is working behind the scenes on this project for way more than one day! Can you share what goes into planning an event like this?

It takes a community of volunteers, working in collaboration with RESOLVE staff over many months, to plan this major event in May.

Our goal this year is to have 200 advocates descend onto Capitol Hill, and this will be accomplished with the help of our Regional Team Captains, spreading the word via social media and other outreach.

Our Policy and Training Team Captains will ensure that all our advocates are trained, equipped, and effective, and feeling confident to share their stories, whether it’s their first Advocacy Day or their tenth!

Our Advocacy Day Chair and Vice-Chairs oversee all these volunteers and work closely with RESOLVE staff to identify the legislative issues and reach out to bill sponsors.  And let’s not forget all the work that goes into scheduling meetings for every advocate with their Members of Congress! 

This is what democracy is about and the results are priceless: the voice of the infertility community is heard.

Support Groups, the HelpLine, and Educating Policymakers and the Media

It’s important to note that increasing access and awareness and creating community are not limited to one day, one week or one event. These are activities RESOLVE does every day to improve the lives of people with infertility. 

We also have more than 250 support groups nationwide, and an online support community that reaches more than 30,000 people. 

Our national HelpLine, 866.NOT.ALONE, connects callers with compassionate volunteers who can share their experience.

We are also a leading influencer online, creating more than 1 million social media impressions on a variety of platforms. 

Infertility is often misunderstood and RESOLVE works tirelessly to communicate the truth about this disease to the media and to policymakers, at both the federal and state level, including fighting legislation that would restrict access to family building options in certain states. 

And we train volunteers to serve in the capacities described above, to represent RESOLVE and grow the infertility movement in their communities.   

How Can RESOLVE Help Me, How Can I Get Involved with RESOLVE

RESOLVE can help you navigate your family building journey by empowering you with information and resources.

Using our website, you can find family building service providers and events in your area, join or start a local support group, and refer your family and friends to learn more so they can better support you on your journey.

You can also take back some of the control that infertility takes away by volunteering to help others and to advocate for our cause.

Visit www.resolve.org to get involved and give voice to the infertility community.

No matter where you are on your family building journey, there is a place for you in the RESOLVE community.

Many of our volunteers are those who have resolved their infertility and want to give back to the community that helped them or make it easier for the next person diagnosed with infertility.

RESOLVE also understands that pregnancy and adoption are not cures for infertility, and we have support groups for pregnancy and parenting after infertility and parenting after adoption, as well as an active, online Living after Infertility Community.

Whether you are resolved, newly diagnosed or a long-time infertility patient, you can find community with RESOLVE.

What It Takes to Financially Support RESOLVE, Why They Need You

Eighty-two cents of every dollar raised goes back to RESOLVE programs and services, to provide support, education, and advocacy on behalf of the infertility community.  We are proud to be certified by the National Health Council Standards of Excellence and Guidestar.

Our current budget is $1.7 million, and we rely on private donations and corporate support to fulfill our mission.

RESOLVE lists its Annual Report and financial reports on its website and also has a full list of corporate partners.  We are a transparent organization and if you can’t find what you are looking for, just ask. Email us at info@resolve.org.

RESOLVE is a charity and we rely on volunteers and donors to support our mission to improve the lives of those with infertility.

Visit www.resolve.org to get involved and/or to make a donation. Contributions of any size truly make a difference.

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