How to start a petition and/or letter drive at my health center: Part 2

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>This blog post is part of an 8-week series leading up to the 2012 Policy & Issues Forum, March 21-25. The series is designed to complement the guide “Signing On: A Prescription for Success” by providing practical information for health center advocates beginning or continuing a petition/letter drive, with the goal of delivering petitions/letters to Members of Congress.

Last week’s blog post focused on how to begin collecting petitions and/or letters at your health center. We covered three main action steps: 1) Choose between petitions or letters, 2) Download petition and/or letter templates, and 3) Establish a plan to collect completed petitions/letters.

This week we would like to share an example of one health center’s petition drive success. Delaware Valley Community Health, Inc., located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, joined with health centers across the nation last summer to participate in the Campaign For America’s Health Centers’ year-long National Petition & Letter Drive. To-date, the health center has collected more than 3,000 petition signatures. As you will read in their story below, much of this success can be attributed to the dedication of one health center advocate:

Rafael Reyes was born in the Dominican Republic and now works proudly as the Security Guard at the Maria De Los Santos Health Center in North Philadelphia.

Upon launching our campaign to protect Federal Community Health Center funding, the staff at the Center was told about the petitions that would be available on tables in the waiting room. He and the front desk staff were given the forms explaining the petition and why signatures were important to the community. That is all it took. He then made it his personal mission to get as many signatures as possible.

He canvassed the health center numerous times a day, talking to patients and visitors asking for support, and building trust among the patient population. He even sought the signatures of the employees of the health center. He was relentless in his quest to obtain as many signatures as possible. Collecting 2,500 signatures over a few weeks’ time can be fully attributed to the efforts of Mr. Reyes. This story teaches us that one person can make a difference as a grassroots champion.

What an inspiring account of how one person can make a huge impact on the success of your health center’s advocacy efforts! When your health center begins collecting petitions and/or letters, make sure everyone on staff is informed about the effort and find ways for everyone to help out. Thanks to Delaware Valley Community Health, Inc., for sharing this story, and a big THANK YOU to Mr. Reyes for going above and beyond to help protect health center funding!

Stay tuned for future blog posts over the coming weeks with more information on how to run a successful petition/letter drive at your health center. Click here to download our complete advocate guide to collecting and delivering petitions and letters to Congress.


  1. Great Job Rafael! You really know how to make a difference in the community. Brenda

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