Welcome to the Compassion & Choices Volunteer Resource Center, your
one-stop shop for volunteer information and resources. On this page, you
will find everything you need to get going as a Compassion & Choices
The Volunteer Resource Center provides direction and resources that are
focused on five programmatic tracks that Compassion & Choices has
identified as the most pressing for volunteer support:
- Medical Aid in Dying
- Federal Policies and Programming
- Truth in Treatment
- Public Speaking & Storytelling
- Access Campaign
Getting started as a volunteer with Compassion & Choices is easy! Just follow a few simple steps:
- Sign up to volunteer using our online form.
- If there is an Action Team in your area, you will be put in touch with your local Action Team leader to get started.
- If there is not an Action Team in your area, you’ll be linked up to our network of training resources and advocacy materials, and we’ll get in touch with you when your efforts count most and if a new Action Team Leader steps up in your area.
- Meanwhile, watch and read through the materials below to learn more!
- Watch our volunteer orientation video
- Understand the issues
- “Oregon’s experience with aid in dying — findings from the death with dignity laboratory” by Barbara Coombs Lee, Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, “Rethinking Mortality: Exploring the Boundaries
between Life and Death,” July 2014
- Confidentiality Agreement note that Compassion & Choices volunteers are asked to sign a confidentiality agreement on an annual basis by Feb. 1 of each year
- Volunteer Media Policy note that Compassion & Choices volunteers are asked to sign the media policy on an annual basis by Feb. 1 of each year
Now that you have a basic understanding about how you can get involved with our work, let’s take a deeper dive. Think about which of the programmatic tracks are most interesting to you, and review our training documents. There is a handbook and training webinar for most tracks.
Resources for Taking Action
- Barbara Mancini DVD Discussion – Don’t let what happened to Barbara, a caring daughter, happen to you.
- How to Die in Oregon Home Screening – Show the award-winning documentary in your community
- Lawmakers Guide: Drafting Aid-in-Dying Legislation — A concise toolkit for legislators considering sponsoring legislation, with public opinion data, legislative language and an FAQ on how the law works in practice.
- Letter Writing Toolkit – Use the power of the pen to influence public policy by writing letters to the editor and to your elected officials.
- LGBT Outreach Toolkit – Comprehensive materials for outreach in the LGBT community.
- Local Resolutions Toolkit– A guide for introducing city and county resolutions.
- Lobbying Toolkit – Be a part of democracy in action.
- Petitions, Tabling, and Canvassing Toolkit – Walk the walk, talk the talk.
- Public Speaking Toolkit –Educate your community about Compassion & Choices and end-of-life options.
- Student Activity Guide– Make your next school paper, presentation or discussion about a cutting-edge issue.
Volunteer Brownbag Archives
The National Volunteer Brownbag Series is a free hour-long educational conference call that features leaders in the end-of-life options and care movement talking about important and timely topics. These sessions are geared towards volunteers and provide both the most up-to-date information and ongoing suggestions and tips for how you can incorporate these topics in your volunteer activities.
National Volunteer Brownbag calls take place quarterly on the first Wednesday of the month at 12pm Pacific time, 3pm Eastern. If you have already signed up to volunteer with Compassion & Choices, keep your eyes peeled for email invitations to RSVP to future Volunteer Brownbag calls!
Here is the most recent Brownbag Call:
- May 2017, California & Oregon Director Matt Whitaker discusses the importance of public speaking in the end-of-life options movement and provides best practices and tips for giving presentations.
Download audio files of past Brownbag speakers here:
- April 2017, Staff Attorney Jonathan Patterson, who discussed our efforts to protect existing medical aid-in-dying laws and authorize medical aid in dying through the courts.
- March 2017, Massachusetts Campaign Manager Marie Manis describes how passing local resolutions can be a powerful advocacy tool in jurisdictions across the country.
- February 2017, Campaign Manager for Doctors for Dignity Dr. Rebecca Thoman discusses the critical role physicians play in advocating for expanded end-of-life options.
- January 2017, President Barbara Coombs Lee talks about what lies ahead for the end-of-life options and care movement in 2017
- December 2016, National Storytelling Project Manager Christal Smith talks about how the Compassion & Choices storytelling project elevates and highlights the voices of Americans fighting to improve end-of-life care and options.
- October 2016, National Boardmember Debbi Gibbs, who identifies as libertarian, discusses the intersection between medical aid in dying and libertarianism, and how understanding this connection could bring new supporters to the movement.
- March 2016, National Director of Political Affairs and Advocacy Jessica Grennan discusses Compassion & Choices’ work in states across the country campaigning for a full range of end-of-life options, including medical aid in dying.
- February 2016, National Constituency Manager Brandi Alexander talks about how Compassion & Choices engages and aligns with diverse constituencies.
- January 2016, New York Campaign Director Corinne Carey talks about New York state’s plans to follow in California’s footsteps and be the next big state to pass medical aid-in-dying legislation.
- December 2015, Multi-State Implementation Manager Matt Whitaker discusses Compassion & Choices’ plans for ensuring that Californians can access their newly passed medical aid-in-dying law
- November 2015, California Campaign Director Toni Broaddus tells the story of how the California End of Life Options Act made its way through the legislature, to the Governor’s desk, and into law two years ahead of schedule.
- September 2015, National Medical Director Dr. David Grube describes the Oregon experience and his personal medical practice of aid in dying for patients.
Quarterly Action Bulletins
Once you’ve reviewed the training materials and have a more comprehensive understanding of the end-of-life care and options issues we work on, get started today by reading through the most recent edition of our Quarterly Action Bulletin! The Quarterly Action Bulletin is designed to let you know exactly what you can do to help the end-of-life options movement right now and give you the resources you need to to be effective. Every volunteer opportunity on the bulletin will push our movement forward and will prepare you for future advocacy.
Hosting a House Party
“Hosting a house party is a really invigorating, interesting, insightful and fulfilling experience. You get an opportunity to host an event where you can create a warm, inviting and safe environment for your guests to share their experiences with end-of-life issues. A house party gathering allows you to invite just the right amount of people. It can be small and intimate enough to encourage your guests to express their deepest feelings and concerns about the issues Compassion & Choices is so adept at handling. You also get a chance
to learn new aspects about the people and friends you thought you knew everything about. It’s a fascinating and rewarding way to educate people about what Compassion & Choices does, its goals, achievements and plans for the future.”
– Joan Hoberman, J.D., LL.M., Westwood, CA
Here are some helpful resources that you can use to plan your own House Party.
- House Party Host Handbook
- House Party Templates
- House Party Donation : Simplify the donation process at your house party by leaving your computer or tablet opened to this page so that your guests can donate quickly and easily online!
- Palm Cards to brochures to thank you cards. It’s as simple as asking (2-3 weeks prior to your party) and you shall receive!