Wednesday, July 15, 2009

21 Easy Things You Can Do to Be Pro-Life...Revised

Are you new to the pro-life movement and aren't sure what you can do to help or looking for some new ideas?

Here are over 30 easy things you can do to continue to be a catalyst for life...

1) Be sure to share a pro-life message through blogging. Some great examples of well-written pro-life blogs include: Jill Stanek, The Dawn Patrol, and JivinJehoshaphat to name a few. If you're new to blogging, Blogging Basics 101 can help you get started.

2) If you've had an abortion, share your abortion story (your experience, feelings, how your abortion affected you, and how you found healing or closure) with others and learn how to become involved in the Post-Abortion movement. The negative effects of abortion on women are often downplayed and/or not discussed in dialogues about abortion.  Women who've had an abortion, especially when they experience feelings of grief or loss after their abortion, often face stigma and shame from both sides of the abortion debate. In sharing your experience, you can help remove the stigma and shame as well as show other hurting men and women that they're not alone in their feelings/experience, as well as present dialogue and opportunity to help others find healing/closure.

3) Host a baby shower or place a collection crib at your church/non-profit for a mom in need.

4) Volunteer your time with, support, and spread the word about The Nurturing Network. "The objective of the Nurturing Network is not a political one, but a most practical one: to ensure that every woman knows that the resources she needs in order to continue her pregnancy are available by calling the Network's toll free number: 1-800-TNN-4MOM. Volunteer members form an extensive employment, medical, educational, counseling and residential network which enables a mother to continue the life of her unborn child without sacrificing her own hopes and dreams. Services include medical assistance, financial assistance, nurturing homes, educational programs, employment & adoption counseling, preparation for parenthood. Staffed during normal business hours, specializing in help for college and professional women.

5) Support your local pregnancy resource center! You can do this a few ways 1)Volunteer your time at a pregnancy resource center. (What is a Pregnancy Resource Center).  2) Donate new and gently-used items to your local pregnancy resource center's Earn While You Learn Program. Through this program, women participate in parenting and life skills courses which empower them to become more independent and break the cycle of poverty, poor parenting, neglect, and abuse while earning vouchers for supplemental maternity and baby  items. Or 3) Support your local pregnancy resource centers by participating in the Purple Envelope Project. Place 1 dollar inside a purple envelope and a supportive note and send it to Care Net and/or Heartbeat Int. Their addresses can be found at the blog above.

6) Become a peer counselor and support advocate for teens at your high school. Be a non-judgemental and safe person for other teens to approach with their questions and issues. Be prepared to direct them to community resources as needed, but most of all, just be a listening ear and supportive.

7)  Participate in activities which support single and teen moms who choose life, for example: create a single moms support group in your community, start a home daycare or create a daycare co-op for parenting teen and college students, provide rides to doctor's appointments, WIC appointments, job interviews, etc.

8) Become a visible volunteer in your community. Being prolife encompasses more than just activism on behalf of the unborn and their mothers, it also means caring for the disadvantaged in our communities and our enviroment. Some ideas include volunteering at your local soup kitchen, food pantry, or homeless shelter, becoming a Big Brother/Big Sister to an at-risk child, becoming a foster parent to an at-risk child, volunteering at the local animal shelter, or organizing a trash pickup day along a highway or in your neighborhood.

9) Reach out to change the hearts and minds of abortion providers and clinic staff on National Abortion Provider Appreciation Day, March 10th. See this blog entry for ideas.

10) Be a peaceful presence at an abortion clinic: silently praying or sidewalk counseling. This is an opportunity to minister to abortion-minded women as well as those undecided and to abortion clinic staff. Remember: Love and kindness wins hearts better than condemnation and hate.

11) Get involved with your local pro-life organization. There are many pro-life organizations and many different approaches. Be sure you are aware of and agree with their mission statement and activities. You can find listings of groups here and here. If one doesn’t exist in your community, consider starting one.

12) Get involved with your college's pro-life organization, Students for Life (national organization), or Feminists for Life's college outreach. If there's not pro-life group at your school, considering starting one. Be sure to check with your student affairs or activities department for the guidelines and rules.

13) Host an informational pro-life booth at your employer's or college's health or activities fair. Be sure follow guidelines and get written permission. Heritage House76 is a great source for pro-life literature and materials.

14) Attend the annual March for Life and other pro-life marches and peaceful protests. Also present a pro-life presence for life at state houses and government buildings on the anniversary or Roe v. Wade and when laws pertitant to pro-lifelife issues are being debated/passed. Also  you can participate in a Life Chain or speak out at Silent No More events. Remember, no matter how heated it gets, not to engage in screaming, name-calling, obscenities, or threatening gestures.

15) Don't forget to speak out on other issues important to supporting women and their children, including, advocating for male responsibility in sex and reproduction, prevention of unplanned pregnancies through acess to better and more reliable contraception and education, paid maternity and family leave and better living wages, support services for pregnant and parenting women at educational institutions, affordable and quality prenatal and children's health care/day care, and safe drinking water and food sources for pregnant and breastfeeding women and their children.

16) Thank local businesses as well as large corporations for standing up for life. Send out “thank you” notes/emails to organizations which support local PRCs, boycotted pro-choice projects, and who have donated time and money to the pro-life movement.

17) Read and support pro-life publications. There are a myriad of  movies with a pro-life theme, books and blogs out there. Check out my sidebar for my favorite sites and my Amazon book list for a pro-life tool box of books!

18) Share a pro-life message with those in your community by  wearing a shirt, bracelet, necklace, lapel pin, button, etc. Don’t have any of this stuff? Make something! With that said, don't forget National Pro-Life T-Shirt Week!

19)Find out how your money is being spent. Don’t support pro-choice companies or organizations unless it is unavoidable. A boycott list of companies/organizations which support pro-choice causes can be found here.

20) Write to and call your senators and congressmen and urge them to vote pro-life. Sometimes, we have to remind them why the pro-life issue is important!  Click here to locate your Congressperson. Click here to locate your Senator.

21) VOTE! This is the most effect way to have an impact on support for pro-life measures. Research the candidates voting background and stances on the issues. Vote for representatives and leaders who have a pro-life voting record, but also have beliefs consistant with your other views

Most importantly, please share these ideas with others.

Rachael's Note:Following concerns regarding a prior, similiar entry I had posted, I have re-written the entry in it's entirety.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Must-Read for Parents and Caretakers: 10 tips for protecting children from sexual abuse

Jackie Block Goldstein, a relative of Dawn Eden, and a social worker with Philadelphia's Children's Alliance, has written an article every parent of young children should read: "10 Tips for Protecting the Children You Love from Sexual Abuse." (note: It's a PDF file and Adobe Acrobat Reader is needed to view it).