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    Building the Culture of Life in Time of Pandemic

    During COVID-19, pregnancy centers face a shortage of supplies, including life-saving ultrasound machines. K of C are stepping up to help.

    By Drew Dillingham 4/14/2020

    Knights of Columbus Bishop A. Gallegos Council 6197 in Folsom, Calif., planned to hold a fundraiser for Sierra Pregnancy + Health — a local pregnancy resource center. However, the state deemed their fundraiser as non-essential work in the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. It got canceled.

    The ultimate irony? The Planned Parenthood facility just around the corner from the center is still operational.

    Because of this, Ray Brosterhous, a Knight of Columbus from Council 6197, remained determined to “make a difference in helping women to choose life.”

    Brosterhous knew that Sierra Pregnancy + Health, like thousands of similar pro-life pregnancy centers across the nation, was committed to keeping open its doors to provide women and families with no-cost physical, emotional and spiritual health care — before, during and after pregnancy.

    The original plan for the pro-life fundraiser included a dinner in a 500-seat venue with top-notch catering. Since this could no longer work, the council’s officers put a new plan into action.

    Calls were made to council members requesting donations. A few officers stepped up and made thousand-dollar pledges, and other council members agreed to donate smaller sums to make up the difference. Very quickly, the council received more than $5,000 in pledges towards the cost of a new 3D ultrasound machine.

    Thanks to the council’s quick shift from in-person meetings and fundraising events to online platforms and conference calls, the council met its fundraising goals. The Knights of Columbus works together as an organization to purchase ultrasound machines for qualifying pregnancy centers, so now that Council 6197 has raised 50% of the cost of the machine, the Supreme Council will match the remaining cost.

    And Council 6197 isn’t the only council working to save the lives of the unborn during the pandemic; a total of 25 ultrasound machines have been placed by Knights of Columbus in pro-life pregnancy centers during the month of March.

    Many of these pregnancy centers are facing a huge shortage of volunteers, donations and supplies due to the COVID-19 social distancing and stay-in-place orders.

    Councils interested in helping their own local pregnancy centers should contact their center directly, organize the donation of any essential supplies the center needs, and consider arranging financial donations through online portals. To search for a center in need, check out the lists provided by organizations like OptionLine, Care Net, Heartbeat International and BirthRight.

    While the news is rife with updates on the death toll of COVID-19, reporting on the millions of unborn killed by abortion remains subdued. It’s up to Knights to step into the breach, confront the culture of death and do all they can to proclaim the Gospel of Life.

    Share your story of how your council is helping strengthen people’s faith and offering support during this time. Email knightline@kofc.org.

    Originally published in a special bi-weekly edition of Knightline, a resource for K of C leaders and members. To access Knightline’s monthly archives, click here.

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