The Amputee Coalition’s advocacy efforts are rooted in its ability to mobilize grassroots volunteers to engage with lawmakers to advance the legislative priorities affecting the limb loss and limb difference communities. Our grassroots advocates engage in the following:
- Meeting with legislators regarding issues impacting the limb loss and limb difference community
- Participating in various forms of engagement to advance the needs of the organization to include:
- Letter writing
- Social media campaigns
- Storytelling regarding personal experiences
- Providing feedback to the Amputee Coalition regarding needs within the limb loss and limb difference community
To strengthen the grassroots advocacy program, we have created a new volunteer position that creates and improves reporting and organization of our Lead Advocates. Through this effort, we aim to capitalize on the resources we have located throughout the country and develop volunteers into grassroots leaders. The Amputee Coalition has divided the grassroots advocates into six regions based on where each advocate resides (map below). Recognizing that geographic location often provides unique perspectives and challenges, it supplies an opportunity for the Amputee Coalition to capitalize on that opportunity. Additionally, a regional-based program increases opportunities for smaller, localized trainings of advocates, allowing them to gain a greater understanding of Amputee Coalition programs and strength in advocacy. We have recognized leaders among the advocates in each region and these volunteer leaders will serve as our Regional Ambassadors.
Regional Ambassadors will serve as the “voice of the advocate” at the Amputee Coalition. Through establishing a mentoring program for our grassroots advocates and frequently engaging with the Lead Advocates, each Regional Ambassador will be charged with advocating on behalf of the grassroots advocates at the Amputee Coalition. This will allow the organization to increase its responsive needs to all advocates and serve them in a greater capacity. Additionally, encourages longer-term engagement with Lead Advocates aspiring to become future Regional Ambassadors.
Regional Ambassadors will serve two-year terms in their volunteer leadership role concurrent with each new Congress. Our inaugural class for Regional Ambassadors was announced at the 2022 National Conference and will officially begin in their roles in January 2023. The following are the first six volunteers to serve as our Regional Ambassadors per the new regional map below:
- Jim Wilkes (CA) – Western Region
- Kristine McGuire (CO) – Prairie Region
- Leslie Green (MN) – Breadbasket Region
- Alex Otte Flowers (KY) – Southern Region
- Jean Mwale (PA) – Northeast Region
- Shawna Mead (FL) – Atlantic Coast Region
Visit the Amputee Coalition website to learn more about the organization’s advocacy efforts.