Post ALL the Flyers!

Post ALL the flyersYou’re walking to class minding your own business, and then BOOM! Your eyes rivet to a sheet of bold color with a glaring headline. 

FREE FOOD IN THE QUAD! Come and get it!

Colored across this glorious rectangle is a grease dipping pizza and 3 smiling college students. You’re staaaarving (or so you think), and this flyer reaches out to you right in your moment of need. You weren’t expecting it. You weren’t looking for it. But there is was. By golly, someone did their job right! With these powerful words and saliva-inducing images, that flyer caught your attention, attracted you to the event, and satisfied your need.

This is the power of a flyer. A flyer creates a moment for someone to discover something that they need (e.g. resources, services, opportunities).  It sits quietly on a wall begging to be read by the one person who needs that information. Now, when we are talking about your pro-life group’s outreach efforts, the need to be met is much, much more important than any free pizza event catering to your growling stomach.

Our flyers provide education, hope, help, and support. Our flyers serve to assist women in unplanned pregnancies, offer resources for mothers, and provide healing for post-abortive peers. If you aren’t out there posting and re-posting, noone is going to know about the resources, services, and opportunities that your club offers!

We challenge you to POST ALL THE FLYERS. Check out our selection of flyers for campaigns that you can host on your campus. Pick your favorites, download, and print. Get a team together and split up across campus to cover your campus. Here are some quick tips for a successful campaign:

    • Follow the rules. Some campuses require you to have flyers approved before posting. Go to your Office of Student Activities for this information.
    • Post in easy to view spots. Do not let students cover or rip down your flyers!  If others do this, go back and post another flyer. Check your locations from time to time to ensure that your flyers are still there.
    • Choose high traffic locations on campus. Great spots include the cafeteria, dorms, academic buildings, and bathrooms.
    • Keep posting! Organize your campaigns to last a couple weeks or a full month. Add new flyers throughout the month, and make sure that others posted remain up.

PRINT AND POST. Choose one of these categories, and pick the right flyers for your campus. For more Pregnant on Campus flyers, go to the Flyers pageContact Beth for files if needed.

 

This post was contributed by Beth Rahal, Pregnant on Campus Coordinator. For comments and questions, please email Beth at brahal@studentsforlife.org

Creating a Pregnancy Resource Website

UA Pregnancy websiteA common trend among pro-life student groups is to create a pregnancy resource website that is separate from their pro-life student group’s website. This effort helps broaden their audience by avoiding bias that may result from your pro-life position. In turn, these websites provide strictly pregnancy resource information for peers at your school and women in your community.

A pregnancy resource website can be a simple, effective project if organized as a group project. You can assign members to divide areas of research to collect all the necessary information to serve a woman in an unplanned pregnancy situation. Do you have a tech savvy member? Assign them to develop the website. Members can be enlisted to create graphics (or purchase appropriate stock images), and others can be assigned to developing the website content and checking the pages for edits.

Does this project interest your group? Here are some basic steps for developing an effective pregnancy resource website.

1. Decide on your initiative’s title.

It is important that you are clear about the name of your campus initiative and that you are consistent in using it on your website, in promotional materials, etc. This promotes good branding by strategically identifying your actions and activities as affiliated with this initiative. You may call your initiative (your school’s name)‘s Pregnant on Campus Initiative, Pregnant on Campus at (your school’s name), or Pregnancy Resources at (Your school’s name). Choose wisely! Your initiative should be a consistent, lasting part of your ministry; so you don’t want to be changing it every year.

2. Choose your host site.

A host site is a website which provides the tools for you to create and publish your own website. Some host sites that are easy to use and navigate include WordPress.comWix.com, or Weebly.com. These sites offer free blogsites, templates, and more. You may want to shop around and test different templates before deciding on your host site.

3. Pick a domain name.UMiami Pregnancy website

Choose a website domain that accurately describes your initiative. For example, Bama’s site is www.uapregnancy.org, and UMiami’s site is www.umiamipregnancy.org. You may purchase a domain at GoDaddy.com or another domain registry prior to pursuing your host site, or you may choose a domain after registering on one of the aforementioned website hosts.

4. Decide on content.

Content for your pregnancy resource website is critical. You need to decide what information will be most helpful for students at your school. Here are some subjects to consider:

  • School Policies
  • On-Campus Resources: Health center, services, scholarships, support.
  • School Insurance Information
  • Local Pregnancy Resource Centers: Locations, services, contact information
  • Pregnancy Information: Identifying pregnancy, fetal development, health and wellness during pregnancy
  • Resource Guide: Comprehensive guide of campus and local resources (available for download and print)
  • Contact Information: Provide an email address to be reached at, a Facebook page (if applicable), and a contact form (if desired)

Your group may also want to include testimonies from pregnant and parenting students at your school (or elsewhere).

7. Design and messaging sets the tone.

How do you want your site visitor to feel when they land on your site? What do you want them to see and read? As a pregnancy resources website, your site is intended primarily for students who will be curious, confused, and/or desperate. Keep the colors and tone comforting. Your messaging should emphasize hope, support, and compassion. The words, pictures, and videos included throughout the site should be thoughtfully reviewed to consider the viewpoint of the audience.

6. Contact information is key.

Your peers need to know how to reach you! How else can they find support, ask questions, and join your efforts? In addition to providing contact information for campus and local support, your group should have an email address for website visitors to contact you. It is recommended that this is a unique address that is specific to your initiative. For example, yourschoolpregnancy@gmail.com . Your group can easily create a Contact Form using Google Form that can be embedded into the website. (Go to Google Drive > Create > Form.)

7. Keep it current!

Make sure that you are regularly updating and improving your site. Each year, confirm that your sources link and refer to current resources and active organizations. Email should be checked on a consistent basis and promptly responded to. Blog posts should be posted on a frequent schedule to provide interesting, engaging material. Don’t let your site get dusty! Assign a member to update and review content each semester.

8. Update us about your websites.

We want to know what resources are available! Tell us about your site, and we will add it to our campus resources page, and we will keep it on file to promote to students and to aid students seeking help.

Set a goal, and get this done! Make it your group’s goal to create a unique pregnancy resource website by the end of this semester. By expanding your pregnancy resources, you can be one step closer to transforming your community to a pro-life, pro-family environment.

For further assistance on this project, contact Beth with questions, ideas, and comments at bomalley@studentsforlife.org.

You Are Not Alone

My friend’s pregnant! What do I do?

Pregnancy TestBreathe. Yes, it can definitely be overwhelming to be confronted by a friend seeking your help- especially in a situation as important as pregnancy. You may feel pressured to know all the answers, and maybe you fear that if you don’t know all the answers, you may negatively impact her decision.

Keep calm. You may not know all the answers, but do your best. Your friend is already overwhelmed, and you need to be a strong, calm voice of hope and love for her. Yes, you may be as shocked as she is. However, maintain a balance of empathy and calm. If she is crying, comfort her. If she is upset, let her vent. If she is shocked, remain level-headed.

Be aware that not all girls are comforted by hugs. She may come running into your arms, or she may need a little space. You know your friend. Consider what would make her most comfortable and comforted.

Now, here are some practical steps for helping your friend:

1. Listen very carefully. She may talk a lot, or she may not have much to say at all. No matter what, she needs someone who will simply listen to her without feeling judged, criticized, or pressured to do something she does not want to do. She may be very scared of what people will tell her, especially family members or her partner.

2. Ask questions as needed. She may be an open book, or she may hesitate to reveal her needs. Gently asking questions will help you better understand her situation and what she needs help with. Do not rapid fire questions. Be patient, and give her time to answer.

  • How are you feeling?
  • When was your last period?
  • Have you taken a pregnancy test?
  • Have you told anyone that you think you may be pregnant?
  • Have you told the dad?
  • What do you think he would say about this?
  • Would he help raise his kid?
  • Have you told your parents?
  • What you do think they’d say?
  • What kind of options are you considering?

3. Suggest help. Assure her that there are countless resources to offer her. Offer her the world! Even if you are unsure about what is available, let her know that you are ready to find whatever resource she needs. You may not even know if it exists, but don’t let that discourage you. Offer the information that you have available, and then talk to your pro-life group, your PRC contacts, local pro-life contacts, church community, etc. about where you can find the resources that you do not currently have. Contact your SFLA Regional Coordinator if you are unsure about how to find help for your friend.

Not sure about how to suggest resources? Here are some ways to start the conversation about available help and support:

  • Would you mind if I talked with you about what you can do next?
  • I know someone who understands what you are going through. Do you mind if I connect you with (name)?
  • There is this program/organization that helps women who have been through this. It’s called ____. I have information about it if you would like to check them out.

Remember: When offering resources, try to focus first on the needs that she identifies. She may need other resources later, but right now, you need to take one step at a time.

Are you prepared to help a friend in an unplanned pregnancy situation?

Do your homework.

  • Take time to research the resources available on your campus and in your community. Consider school policies, counseling services, pregnancy resources, parenting support, adoption resources, etc. Use the FFL/SFLA survey to help you determine resources on campus and in the community.
  • Tour local pregnancy resource centers (PRCs) to familiarize yourself with the services and programs that each offers, and build relationships with the staff. You should also be aware of the operating hours. With these steps, you will be confident in the organizations that you recommend! Find your local PRC here: www.optionline.org
  • Keep phone numbers in your phone for PRCs, counselors, or other helpful contacts. This will allow you to immediately connect with the help that your friend or peer needs.
  • If you are sidewalk counseling or hosting a potentially controversial event, notify these aforementioned contacts. Make them aware of your events so that they know to be available if someone approaches you for help.
  • Create a resource guide or brochures. This will be a helpful tool to distribute on campus and to have available at your pro-life student group events. Download and customize our resource guide for pregnant and parenting students here.

Love is GreaterYou can do this!

Your love and support may be crucial to helping your friend to make a life-affirming choice. You may be the only one showing her the love that she needs to be courageous. Be there for her. Support her. Guide her through this process as best you can. Be the friend who willing to walk through fire and rain. Love is always greater than judgement.

 

 

 

This post was written by Beth O’Malley. If you are interested in pursuing pregnancy resource projects on your campus, contact Beth for ideas and support.