Meet Benita Ulisano, founder of The Clinic Vest Project
[dropcap background="no" color="#333333"]A[/dropcap]bortion clinic escorts are heroes. That’s what the Clinic Vest Project believes, and that’s why the badass women behind the initiative have taken it upon themselves to provide completely free(!) safety vests to clinic escorts across the country and in Canada. They’ll send as many vests as your organization needs, and whenever you need them -- they’ve sent more than 1,800 vests to people on the front lines to date! This week, we caught up with the woman behind the organization, Benita Ulisano.[divider type="dashed" spacing="10"]
Introduce yourself! Tell us who you are and what you do.
Hi, my name is Benita Ulisano and I am the founder of The Clinic Vest Project. Our mission is to supply free clinic escort vests to clinic escort programs in need. We also help connect potential escorts to new and existing programs if asked for assistance. Currently we have sent vests to over 100 clinics in 30 states and in Toronto Canada. The Clinic Vest Project started in 2013, and became a 501(c)(3) in 2014.[divider type="white" spacing="10"]
How did the idea for the project come to you, and why is there a need?
The idea came to me after a group of volunteers in another state(IN) asked if they could borrow some of the escort vests we had in our clinic escort group at the time. I currently escort with the Illinois Choice Action Team in Chicago. I couldn't loan them any of our vests, so I bought vests for them. I thought the rest of the vests would just sit in the box in my closet, but the word got out and soon others were asking for them, hence The Clinic Vest Project was born.
The need for Clinic Escorts has unfortunately increased(at least from our point of view) due to an increased anti-choice presence at clinics around the country.[divider type="white" spacing="10"]
We love that your mission is to support women at all costs - can you tell us how feminism plays a part in what you do?
Feminism comes into play because we support clinic escort groups who are helping people exercise their right to choose and access reproductive health care one vest at a time![divider type="white" spacing="10"]
What's been the most challenging part of the project? The most rewarding?
The most challenging and rewarding part of the project has been keeping up with the demand for vests. We are busier than ever, and loving it.[divider type="white" spacing="10"]
How can our readers support you?
We thank you for offering to spread the word about us. Potential supporters can visit our website at: http://www.clinicvestproject.org