Guest Author - Joyce Orzak
In this down economy, it's even tougher to find ways to donate to pro-life charities. With a little creativity and effort, though, it is possible. This article features ways that you can literally cook up some love for women in need and their unborn children. By taking the "hands on" approach, you can even inspire family and friends to do likewise, as well as teach your children valuable lessons about the sanctity of human life and caring for others.
Here are some ways you can help the pro-life movement without spending large amounts of money you simply don't have.
Hold a Soup Kitchen Sale:
Coordinate with a local church or community group (ladies book clubs, social centers, and charitable organizations are great places to start looking) to hold a soup kitchen sale. Get a list of volunteers to each cook up a pot of their favorite soup, be it chicken noodle, minestrone, or clam chowder, a day before the soup kitchen event. Ladle the soup into labeled Mason jars and refrigerate overnight. (Mason jars are more attractive than plastic ware for the sale - just make sure everyone knows they are not sealed and so they refrigerate their perishable soup!)
After the church service or club meeting, display the soup jars on a table and ask for a donation for each jar of soup. Everyone wins: you can donate the money to a pro-life charity or buy supplies for a local crisis pregnancy center and no one walks away hungry!
Meals for New Moms:
Sometimes we happen to meet a new mother-to-be in a social situation and we can offer to help her with meals for the first few weeks of having their baby home from the hospital. That can mean anything from preparing single serving meals and snacks that she can pull from the freezer or having cooking nights, when you whip up a double batch of something tasty and deliver it fresh to her kitchen table.
If you have a bigger outreach in mind, coordinate a group of cooks with your local crisis pregnancy center to cook for new or expectant mothers. Many centers will be able to provide freezer space for nutritious meals and provide them on an as-needed basis for new families when times are too hectic to prepare their own food.
Host a New Mom's Cooking Party:
Ask any mother and some of the loneliest times of her life were very likely when she had young children. Help new moms establish contacts (and friends!), learn how to better manage their new household, and have some fun, all wrapped into one great event.
Coordinate with a local crisis pregnancy center or support group to invite women and their young children to a cooking party. You can easily rent kitchen space from local fire halls, churches, and civic clubs. Hire a babysitter or two, or find volunteers, to watch the children in a separate room or a corner of a larger social hall. Buy inexpensive ingredients to make double or triple batches of a few popular dishes that can be made in the time it takes to watch a children's movie. Extravagant menus aren't necessary; the ingredients for macaroni and cheese, beef stew, or bean soup are very affordable when bought in bulk from a place like Sam's Club or Costco.
On the night of the cooking party, get the children situated with the babysitters and a movie, and then do a short presentation that is relevant to your audience. Depending on your focus, it may be nutrition, child safety, or a Bible study. Choose something that ministers to them.
For the "party" part of your cooking party, turn up the music, offer festive food - mini cupcakes and sparking apple cider is great - and get the moms chopping and stirring the ingredients for their menu. When the cooking has ended and the food is packed into Tupperware, the ladies will feel like they have gotten a break from being stuck at home, made some new friends, and as a delicious added bonus, they don't have to worry about tomorrow's dinner.