18Open Arms is turning 18! Join us for a Birthday Bash & Auction:

Thursday, November 12, 2015
6-9 PM
Herban Feast, SoDo Park
3200 1st Avenue South, Seattle, WA 98134

Online registration is now closed. Admission is $70 at the door if there are seats available.


Event details:

  • We will have more than 100 auction items. Preview the items here.
  • Answers to Frequently Asked Questions
  • Appetizers, dinner, wine and beverages will be provided
  • Guests will receive a raffle ticket for fabulous prizes if you donate a package of diapers (Requested sizes 1,2, and 4) or donate $10 towards our diaper fund.

Can’t attend but still want to be part of the celebration? Make a donation or buy a seat for a doula

Since 1997, Open Arms Perinatal Services has been providing strong community-based support for women through pregnancy, birth and postpartum.

At Open Arms, we believe in the inherent dignity and worth of every mother and baby. We believe in the possibility of every child that is born, and we believe that every mother and every family always have the opportunity to live out that possibility.


Open Arms in Seattle Times

Open Arms Perinatal Services was just featured in the Seattle Times as a powerful community-based program that could be funded by Best Starts for Kids. Have you voted yet? Please take the time to show your support for mothers and children in King County. Read the article


New Executive Director for Open Arms!

DilaOur new Executive Director, Dila Perera, joined Open Arms on July 27.

We conducted a lengthy and careful search process, which yielded candidates from around the community and the country. Prior to beginning this search, we identified the most important characteristics and skill sets we were looking for in a new leader to move Open Arms forward. Dila exemplifies all that we were looking for in our next leader for the organization. We are confident that she will be a great new partner for the Board, a creative and supportive leader for the staff and an engaging representative of Open Arms with all our community partners and donors.

Dila has worked in public health and advocacy locally and internationally, including time spent as a doula for Open Arms. She earned both a Master of Public Health and a Master of Social Work at the University of Washington, after starting her career as a health educator at 19. She went on to spend  twelve years helping to build and manage innovative and complex programs designed to improve the health of vulnerable populations, including mothers, children, families, and people living with or affected by HIV. Most recently she led the Washington State Training Program at the Northwest AIDS Education and Training Center.

Dila has managed several large-scale federally funded interventions, but believes that small organizations, even when working with minimal resources, are still the most effective at creating lasting and transformational change. She has been a program manager, a grant maker, a board member and a trainer. However, Dila considers working with pregnant woman before birth, during birth, and supporting new mothers and infants to be the most rewarding work she has ever done.

I first witnessed the birth of a child as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Madagascar, one of the poorest countries in the world. When I returned to Seattle, I received a scholarship to work with women in need of culturally sensitive labor support. I had the honor of welcoming other babies here in well-equipped hospitals in Seattle, including my own.

The settings were literally worlds apart, but the power of that moment – when a woman becomes a mother and a new being full of hope and possibility is born – remains universal. As a longtime supporter of Open Arms, I can think of no other local organization that has been able to leverage public, private, and community will specifically to provide pregnant women with culturally appropriate support.

The mission of Open Arms resonates with me very deeply. It will be an honor to lead Open Arms in our next phase of development, as we continue to lift up women and children right at that moment when there is so much opportunity to help a child start on a loving and healthy path into the world.

-Dila Perera

We plan to introduce Dila to the Open Arms community over the late summer and into the fall, and she will be reaching out to many of you directly as well.  We hope that you will take the opportunity to get to know her better and also that you will help her become familiar with all the partners and friends who make up our essential network of support for families in our community.

The Board wishes to express our deep appreciation to Michelle Sarju who filled in as Acting Executive Director and to all our staff for their dedicated work throughout this period of transition. We know that Dila is fortunate to have partners like them to grow the impact of this organization.


More Exciting News at Open Arms!

Katie Silvett has re-joined Open Arms on July 16th as our Program Manager. Katie completed her practicum at Open Arms and graduated this June with a Master in Social Work from the University of Washington. Katie is a full-spectrum doula and has five years of experience working with survivors of violence, most recently at the Northwest Network of Bi, Trans, Lesbian and Gay Survivors of Abuse. Katie knows Open Arms and our clients very well as she has worked closely with former Program Manager Yvette McKee on our birth doula services team.

We would like to extend a heartfelt thanks to Yvette for more than 10 years of dedication to Open Arms and our clients. With Yvette’s leadership and hard work, Open Arms’ programs have experienced tremendous growth and many mothers have been able to access important prenatal, birth, and postpartum services. We would also like to thank Annie Moffat who played an integral role managing birth doula services during this transition.


Congratulations Margarita Celis!

Margarita, our Community-based Outreach Doula for the Spanish-speaking community in South King County, was recently selected by Health Connect One to be one of two organizational representatives to the U.S. Breastfeeding Committee (USBC). The USBC is a multisectoral national breastfeeding committee comprised of representatives from government departments, non-governmental organizations, and health professional associations. Its mission is to drive collaborative efforts for policy and practices that create a landscape of breastfeeding support across the United States.
Read more here.

Margarita will travel to Washington, D.C. this August and in January 2016 to represent Community Health Workers/Providers, connect with other advocates in the field, and share her insights. One of the requirements is that Margarita has to blog–so stay tuned!