A local hospital system uses the slogan, "Because there is no routine (procedure)," inserting mammogram, cancer, heart disease - etc., as appropriate.
The same could be said of the days at Greater Columbus Right to Life, because it turns out that there is no such thing as a routine crisis, so the ways in which we help are not exactly routine.
Today brought us three different women in need of help. The first woman we met on the sidewalk, we will call Juliana.* Juliana has limited English skills and found herself thrust into the workforce after several years as a stay at home mom after separating from her husband. Then, she got pregnant. With several children at home who she is already struggling to provide for, Juliana went to Founder's, where she met one of our volunteers before her appointment.
Fortunately, our volunteer spoke some basic Spanish, and after the mom decided to walk to the pregnancy help center, I was able to meet them there to help with translations - grateful I'd brushed up on my pro-life Spanish earlier this year!
While I was still in the counseling room helping Juliana to sort through her situation, our volunteers met a second mom who turned away from the clinic. Mom number two, who we will call Katie, was a teenager herself, and she already has one infant at home. Thinking she was not up to the task, she turned to abortion as a way out, but upon meeting our volunteer, she needed help, support, and encouragement, not abortion.
After a grueling few hours of translating, a real translator showed up just in time for Juliana's ultrasound- fortunate, because my knowledge of medical terminology could be better. Still, I had formed a bond with Juliana, so she asked me to go with her for the ultrasound.
By by the time we left and grabbed some lunch, I was learning about the details of what happened earlier at OSU. There were multiple received calls and texts asking if I was ok. All in all, it was a long, exhausting, and certainly not routine kind of day, but it was not yet over.
At 4:45, just as I was battling a serious headache and about to call it quits for the day, we were contacted by a third mom. This young woman, we will call her Malika, had aged out of the foster care system and given birth to twins in the last eight months. Today, she found herself homeless -living in her car, pregnant again, and facing the news that she would not be able to qualify for a residential program helping with the transition from foster care to independence because of her pregnancy. So, we got to work with a referral to a family shelter for tonight and an appointment with a pregnancy help center tomorrow, and tomorrow we will reconnect with her to make sure she gets the resources she needs. No woman should be made to feel like she must choose between the life of her unborn child and having a roof over her babies' heads.
So many women cross our path every day. Each of them is facing a very real problem, often they have problems that we cannot fully grasp. All of them see abortion as a perceived solution for a very real problem. Frequently they refuse our help, many of them talk to us and consider what we are saying, and a few make the immediate decision for life by turning away from the abortion clinic. Whatever the circumstance, we pray for them, and we offer them hope.
There is no routine crisis and no routine day at Greater Columbus Right to Life. There are, however, regular volunteers and regular needs. This year, we have distributed thousands of pieces of literature to women seeking an abortion, their partners, and their support people. We do this because we care, because women and their children deserve better, and because we are compelled by our faith and the moral laws to stand against this supreme injustice.
Today we met and prayed for and helped three women to make a choice for life and to turn away from the clinic. There is no routine day at GCRTL, but there are routine expenses.
Tomorrow (Nov 29th) is #GivingTuesday, a national day that kicks off the year-end giving cycle. Americans have spent billions from Black Friday to Cyber Monday, and we will give millions to charity on Giving Tuesday.
Like many nonprofits, between twenty and twenty-five percent of our budget will be donated between now and the end of the year. We must raise a minimum of $15,000 to continue our work. In fact, that is what I intended to work on today, but Juliana, Katie, and Malika took precedence.
Please, consider the work that we are doing and the women who we are helping. This #GivingTuesday, I would ask that you consider a gift of at least $75 - that is less than $3 each day between now and Christmas. If you cannot donate $75, a gift of just $10 each month will go further than you can imagine. Because while there are no routine days at GCRTL, together we can show the world that life is always precious and it always takes precidence.
Click here to donate online today.
*Names changed to protect confidentiality.
About half of the population will made a New Year’s Resolution to usher in 2014. Some of you will set big, audacious goals with much public fanfare. Others will set smaller personal goals measured in incremental changes, and we all will see varying measures of success (or failure). As prolife and faithful people, it goes without saying that we all yearn to follow the heart of Christ and seek an end to evil, especially the evils that attack the sanctity of human life.
As we make our annual resolutions, I thought I’d share a few ideas on how to give this year's most popular resolutions a prolife boost.
Resolution: Eat Healthier
Prolife Boost: While specific advice varies, the general consensus is that a good way to eat more healthy foods is to be more intentional in how you eat. Perhaps that means portion control, making healthier selections, or simply abstaining from a dietary bad habit. In any case, if your plans include making changes in what you eat, consider also making a change in how you eat. Say a quick blessing prior to your meal, remembering those who are hungry.
Resolution: Exercise More
Prolife Boost: Many common prayers, especially for those from a liturgical background, are broken into cadences of ten, fifteen, or twenty. I’m horrible at counting during exercise. If I’m doing three sets of ten reps with a dumbbell, my math goes something like this “1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, Oh, I like those pants she is wearing. What number am I on? um....10!” Instead, I now recite a “Hail Mary” – which naturally has a cadence of ten. An “Our Father” fits pretty nicely in a count of 15. I often go to the gym on Saturdays, which is one of the most active abortion clinic days in our town, so I’ve made saying a prayer for the women our volunteers met that day part of my routine. Running is a great opportunity for extemporaneous prayer – if you are alone with your thoughts, why not turn them to God? While these may not work for your highest intensity workouts, it is a nice break from watching another television rerun.
Resolution: Spend more time with family
Prolife Boost: Make a special effort to spend time with elderly family members. If your elderly family members are deceased, consider “adopting” a grandparent from a nursing home, pay a visit to Grandpa’s former golfing buddy, or drop by to check on that aging neighbor down the street. Our society has devalued the life of the elderly and the infirm just as it has the unborn. Our love, friendship, and mercy are as necessary at the end stages of life as they are in the beginning.
Resolution: Get Organized
Prolife Boost: Whether this means sorting through those scary hallway closets, establishing a family schedule, or just getting out the door on time, many of us want to take the clutter and chaos out of the New Year. So, as you clean out the closet, don’t just toss everything in the trash. While you should get rid of things that are stained, broken, or past their expiration date, you may have items that will make someone’s life a little better. That yarn you bought in 2012 (when your resolution was to adopt the trendy hobby of knitting) would probably be a welcomed by a shut-in. Those maternity and baby clothes might give a struggling pregnant woman a boost of happiness. And as long as you are penciling in family holidays and vacation times, why not save the date to see Abby Johnson on June 9th or plan to adopt an hour during 40 Days for Life?
Resolution: Improve Money Management
Prolife Boost: Financial success is not just about having cash in the bank, budgeting for nice things, and paying down the credit card. True, those are all great objectives, but just as you should be intentional in your earning and spending habits, you should plan your giving as well. Charitable giving is not just for the wealthy; it is something that we all need to make a priority. While the amount that we can each give varies, our need to be charitable does not. Moreover, with a little pre-planning, you can make a modest contribution pay off for you and the organization you are supporting. Prolife groups like Greater Columbus Right to Life need financial support and volunteer commitment to continue our work in the community. Beginning in 2014, we will be working with the Stewardship Foundation, which will create an opportunity for our donors to better maximize the tax benefits that can come from charitable giving. Also consider how your talents could be used to further the prolife cause. We are in need of volunteers who can assist with website design, data entry, graphics, and writing thank-you notes.
Whatever your resolutions for 2014 are, consider giving them a prolife boost – and let us know what your plans are! I’d also invite you to make a specific prolife resolution of your very own. Perhaps you will take a sidewalk counseling class, commit joining the 40 Days for Life committee, volunteer to organize your church’s respect life group, or plan to attend one of our 2014 events. Whatever you do, we are here to support you the best that we can, because our goal each and every single day is to protect innocent human life from conception until natural death.
May God Bless you in the New Year!
I was recently asked to talk about the future of Greater Columbus Right to Life. What does it hold for us? Where are we going? The answer to the question of our future lies with our youth and our young adults. They are our future. This group of passionate, caring, smart, energized and quite simply amazing people are our future. If you want to know where to find me, look toward the youth. I'll be investing in them and, I'm sure, learning from them as well.
Let me introduce you to the future of Greater Columbus Right to Life. This poem was written by Trianna Connelly, a freshman at Bishop Ready High School. She is a budding poetess and writer. I look forward to reading more of Trianna's poetry.
What is life and why does it matter?
Between death and life I would choose the latter.
Such a precious gift, such a joyous thought,
Life is something that can never be bought.
All deserve to life in God's grace.
You will never know until you come face to face
But that little creature you hold
is an example of waht is told
For killing this innocent soul
For ripping apart a chance to have a role
In thei crazy world we call life.
Whether it is important of filled with strife
Is tortuous and wrong
For this is their world too, a place to belong.
Don't you ever think about what you are doing?
About what you are pursuing?
This tiny life that you bare
So find and fair
Is a piece of you and will always be
So choose thE right choice and let it be free
For it loves you more than you will ever know
Because if you give up something you bestow
That love will be lost
And in turn, you will pay the cost
For you will realize that you love it too
And killing this creature will be like killing you
What creative ways do you use to share your Pro-Life views? Do you blog, write essays, paint, draw or take pictures? What other ideas do you have to spread the word that Life is precious - from conception until natural death?