Pro-life? Here's how to put your beliefs into practice -- without a lot of time or money.
Here are some easy ways you can support young women in unplanned pregnancies — without a lot of time or money.
1) Donate baby or maternity items. If you don’t have these things yourself, maybe you can mention it to the moms you know. Any baby or maternity clothes in good condition, as well as bassinets, cribs, car seats, and Pack-‘n-Plays are always in demand. Crib sheets, baby blankets, bottles, strollers, baby toys, and books on pregnancy and breastfeeding are all appreciated too. Do you know anyone having a baby shower? If they get too many of one thing, they might be glad to know where they can donate extras.
2) Do some marketing. Pregnancy centers are non-profit, and generally can’t afford expensive advertising. Flyers hung on bulletin boards in libraries, grocery stores, and office buildings are a great way to spread the word that there’s help available — free — to any young woman in an unplanned pregnancy. I often leave a small stack of pregnancy center brochures wherever I’m sitting waiting and there’s a table of reading material — doctor’s office, dentist, car repair place, vet’s office, hair place, DMV. It’s free advertising. Maybe the person who picks up that brochure doesn’t need pregnancy help but it could be that next month her niece or her friend mentions someone who’s feeling overwhelmed by a crisis pregnancy, and needs accurate, compassionate help.
3) Join your parish Respect Life ministry. Even occasional small-scale activities spread the message of the sanctity of all life from conception to natural death. Helping to stack the literature rack at your church is a good way to reach not only parishioners, but others who are visiting the church for a wedding or funeral. Placing pro-life events, messages, legislation and other info in the church bulletin is educational. The baby bottle campaign that so many churches participate in now is a great effort to be involved in. Other ideas: Selling pro-life Christmas cards, bringing in a speaker from the pregnancy center, sponsoring a Respect Life essay or video contest for the parish school. Others join the March for Life in January each year, gather signatures for petitions, or hold a parish ‘baby shower’ for the life center.
4) If you have just a few hours a month, you could be an important asset to any crisis pregnancy center — sorting baby clothes into labeled bins for boys and girls and various sizes. At the center where I help out, we have a wonderful group of women who go through the bags and bins of donated clothes while chatting with each other. Some are grandmas, others work full time, some come once a month for three hours, others one morning a week, still others are on a call-as-needed list. While there isn’t always a financial need involved in every unplanned pregnancy, often the expense of having to buy so many things all at once is one more stress on a young woman who may not have much support around her. It’s so great to be able to offer neatly folded maternity or adorable baby clothes to a young mom in need.