How YOU Can Host a Community Baby Shower

Baby ShowerThe Community Baby Shower event was inspired by the Pro-Life Aggies group at Texas A&M University. The group hosted a “shower” asking shoppers of a local store to purchase diapers, wipes, formula, and baby items to give to the group so they could, in turn, donate these items to a local pregnancy resource center. After their Community Baby Shower, the Pro-Life Aggies donated over $700 in cash and truckloads of baby items!

The popularity and success of the Community Baby Shower has made it a favorite event among pro-life student groups. Students for Life of America has seen thousands upon thousands of dollars worth of needed materials donated to pregnancy centers all over the nation, thanks to our courageous and faithful students. Last year, Students for Life of Ozaukee County, WI (pictured above), gathered $3,000 worth of baby items in one day!

host your own Community Baby Shower!

1) Contact the local pregnancy resource center in your area. Tell them your group wants to collect donations for them from a local store. Be sure to ask them what items they are generally most in need of. Visit www.optionline.org to find a nearby Pregnancy Resource Center that you can help!

2) Contact (by phone or in person) a local grocery store (e.g. Target or Walmart) several weeks or months ahead of time to get permission to host a donation drive outside of their store. Have as much information about the local pregnancy center you’re helping as possible (such as flyers or posters you wish to hang up or hand out), as well as your contact information, in case the manager requests. While not all stores require a letter of recommendation, you may contact Students for Life for a letter, if needed: Sample SFLA Letter of Recommendation.

Community Baby Shower- Promo- Flyer Image3) Once permission is obtained, make signs asking specifically for baby items. For example: “Will you help mothers in need at (name of PRC) by donating diapers, formula, wipes, and other baby items? Thank you for your support.” Also, decorate a jar to have available in case people want to make cash donations or give gift cards to the pregnancy center instead. Make small fliers with contact information for the pregnancy center and their website and address, too. Below is an example flyer you can download and fill in for your group!

**Click here to download flyer**

4) Call to confirm the date of the Community Baby Shower with the store the week beforehand.

5) On the day of the Community Baby Shower, dress comfortably and bring supplies needed. You will need a table or pack and play to place donations and to tape the signs. Place your decorated jar on the table or in a safe but accessible area so that people can easily put donations in it. Also, have someone physically hold the sign with the list of needed items. (People are more likely to read it if is held.) Always listen to store employees if they request that you place the table in a specific location in front of the store.

6) About an hour before you pack up your donations to leave, take down the signs and stop requesting items. That way, people still shopping who intend to donate will not be stuck with baby items that they have no use for because you left!

7) Share your story! Contact Students for Life, and tell us about your Community Baby Shower and how you helped your local pregnancy resource center! By sharing your success, you can become an inspiration to students nationwide!

Other Helpful tips

Whether you are a veteran or just starting out, these tips are helpful to remember for making your community baby shower as successful as possible. Contact your SFLA Regional Coordinator for further assistance to make this a successful event!

Register your group

The next National Community Baby Shower weekend is April 26-27. To ensure groups are not planning events at the same times and locations, please register your group events with Students for Life using the following form:

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