by Rebecca Lane, Interim Executive Director
I’ve been in the nonprofit sector for over 35 years as a social worker, executive director, development and fundraising director, and now interim executive director. My role as Interim Executive Director is to guide an organization as they prepare for a leadership transition, support staff to keep services running, update any systems that need attention and assist the board in a search for new leadership.
At EOLWA, we’re improving our donor connections, development, and fundraising focus – did you know that our budget relies on 100% donor contributions? It’s a big lift every year to raise this, and our donors are integral to our success in serving a growing number of people in Washington state.
We’re also busy mapping out what’s next in client service provision, as the passage of SB 5179 is generating a significant increase in calls and requests for support. As our community knows, EOLWA stands alone, providing the education, support, and advocacy necessary to help Washington residents exercise their choice to die with dignity and autonomy.
Increasing our skills, knowledge, and capacity to serve all racial and cultural communities is integral to growing our services. Known as DEIB – diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging – this commitment to creating organizational capacity that works for all who can benefit from our services is deep and ongoing professional development. I’m happy to answer whatever questions you may have about this work.
I’ve been familiar with EOLWA since the early days of working to pass I-119 and have admired the work immensely. As an elder myself, it’s an honor to support this organization getting to scale and fully funded capacity. I’m grateful for such dedicated and intelligent volunteers, staff, and board members working together to uphold our rights to the full range of end-of-life choices, including Death with Dignity, through advocacy, education, and support.
Making It Possible Together
In 1988 a small group of compassionate women and men gathered to bring the conversation about death with dignity to Washington state. First gathered as The Hemlock Society, now 35 years later, End of Life Washington has morphed and grown into one of the nation’s foremost Medical Aid in Dying (MAiD) organizations. We’re celebrated as leaders, looked to for expertise, and invited to advise lawmakers, medical professionals, nascent efforts, and startups.
Passionately committed people have stewarded the arc of challenges and successes, exponential growth, and cultural changes across decades. You’re among this passionate and dedicated group of change-makers. You’ve been along for many of the highlight moments, and we know that your commitment to this important human rights movement is woven into your thinking, values, and commitment to creating a world that works for all.
Since its inception, EOLWA has served over thousands of people along a continuum of care, from an initial inquiry for information to specific resources. About 30% of the people we serve choose medical aid-in-dying with support from staff and our phenomenal and skilled VCAs (Volunteer Client Advisors), without whom EOLWA could not serve as we do.
As spring makes her way into our lives and reminds us of the fundamental inevitability of rebirth, please take a moment to reflect on the breadth of cultural changes that have happened since 1988. The many cycles of birth, death, and rebirth that all of us have matured through deepen commitment, capacity, skills, and reach. Thank you for being woven into this community of care.