By Diane Miller
This Friday, Plants for Patients (P4P), a local nonprofit that donates plants to post-abortion patients, will be celebrating its first birthday at Studio 222 – and all of its supporters are invited.
In just a year, this organization has become a state-recognized nonprofit and has given out more than 400 plants, which include a planter (a pot) and a special note.
“It’s kind of hard to argue with, ‘You should be nice to people’ or ‘You should do nice things for other people,’” says Meg Roberts, P4P executive director.
After personally discovering the healing power of plants, Roberts, a 24-year-old ceramicist, was inspired to make her own unique planters as a part of her senior thesis at North Dakota State University. All she needed was a more significant purpose.
“I’ve always been into socially engaged art therapies and how it shapes communities and interacts with existing communities – its potential for social change,” Roberts says.
Being an employee the Red River Women’s Clinic, she realized that by combining her passion for art, community and humanitarianism, she could make a positive impact in the lives of women who are going through one of the toughest times of their lives.
“All of the sudden all these things culminated in kind of an ‘aha moment’ of like, ‘I could do all of these things I’m interested in in one action.’”
Part of P4P’s aim is to convey the message that all women should be treated with kindness and dignity, regardless of their decisions. Because people can identify as either pro-choice or pro-life and agree with this, the organization chose to identify as neither.
“We wanted to be an incredibly inclusive meeting ground,” Roberts says. “Not necessarily to create dialogue between the different stances on the abortion debate, but just to bring everyone back to the focus on what’s at stake and what really is being talked about, the men in their lives and their partners and their families.”
Pro-compassion, Robert says, is what P4P identifies as – a universal principle that any person or organization can benefit from.
Friday’s event will be one big gathering of P4P supporters that will hopefully raise funds and garner more support and ideas. There will be a silent auction featuring local artwork, limited edition P4P t-shirts, food and drinks – maybe even a dance party. Attendees will also have the opportunity to write their own message to a patient receiving a plant.
“The response had been overwhelmingly positive,” Roberts says. “And it’s crazy cause this idea has not been done before, not in relation to reproductive health care. So this is an idea that is actually original and actually originated in Fargo.”
Roberts’ long-term vision sees P4P across the nation – and she’s already taken small steps to reach this goal.
“So far we have worked in three clinics in two states,” she says. “We are hoping to expand it out and work in different cities and see what the cultural climate is, how it changes, how the programs has to change with each site that it works at.”
To learn more or to donate, visit plantsforpatients.com.
IF YOU GO:
WHAT: Plants for Patients Birthday Bash
WHERE: Studio 222, 222 Broadway
WHEN: Fri, March 8, 6-9 p.m.
HOW MUCH: $25, includes 2 free drinks
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