By Jacki Ragan, Director, State Organizational Development Department
No matter how many years I work in the right to life movement or how many chapters I work with, one of my favorite things in life is to help a new (or renewed) chapter get on its feet and up and running. There is no feeling quite like it and you know you are contributing to saving lives.
And working with Goshen County Right to Life is no exception to this. I get excited every time I hear from them because I know that they are going to bowl me over with their activities and ideas.
Goshen County Right to Life is in Torrington, Wyoming and is an affiliated chapter with Wyoming Citizens for Life, NRLC’s state affiliate. The chapter has been in existence for 20 years or so but prior to the kick start in September of 2011, had been inactive for a few years.
But that has changed and they are raising the bar for chapters across the country. Working with Goshen County Right to Life President, Jan Long is like chatting with an old friend. And she and her group are on-fire for life!
Recapping some of their activities since May (2013) shows you the breadth and depth of their commitment:
* Ran a signature ad in the local newspaper, collected signatures to pay for the ad in support of mothers and life for the unborn;
* Ran an ad in June in the local paper thanking Dad’s for Life;
* Sent representatives to attend the National Right to Life Convention in Dallas, Texas;
* In July, held the second annual “cute baby” contest as a fund-raiser. People voted for the cutest baby and each vote cost $.50. Individuals could vote as often as they wanted and the winner received a setting and photo from a local professional photographer;
* They were invited by the local police to set up a table at a community bar-b-q in a park. The purpose was to let Goshen County residents know what was offered in the community. Lots of petitions were signed at this event;
* Staffed a booth at the Wyoming State Fair and had the opportunity to talk with many passers by about life and to let them know there was an active chapter in Torrington;
* Allowed to set up a booth at the Eastern Wyoming College and reached many people with fetal models, hand outs, little feet and had a sign up sheet for students who were interested in learning more;
* Goshen County decided to branch out and go into a neighboring county to start a chapter. They ran a newspaper ad and have been invited to set up a booth for their local health fair;
* Participated in Life Chain on Main Street in Torrington;
* They approached the local high school and were allowed to distribute flyers with information on entering the National Right to Life Essay Contest. The principal even announced over the PA system and the student paper instructed students who were interested to stop by the office for more information;
* Allowed to post information at the Eastern Wyoming College on the National Right to Life Video contest;
* Ran an ad in the paper for Grandparent’s Day;
* Had a bake sale table (fund-raiser) in the lobby of the local bank where the chapter holds an account. Jan Long took her Red Flyer Wagon and visited businesses who couldn’t make it to the bank and they made twice the amount of money they otherwise would have made.
* Presenting pro-life talks to the youth at 3 Catholic Churches in their own county, the county north of them, and the county west of them;
* Had a one hour presentation on a local Christian Radio Station telling listeners about their activities and how they could get involved and help;
* Goshen County Right to Life will have a booth at the Home School Convention;
* They set up a Facebook page and have been quite active with Social Media reaching lots of young folks;
* They attended the annual state pro-life March and Banquet (see photo!); and sponsored their own candle light vigil in commemoration of Roe v Wade;
All of these activities took place since May of 2013. And how many active members do you imagine they have performing all of these activities? In the words of President, Jan Long,
“We are 6 to 8 volunteers who are trying to make a difference for life issues in our community and in our state. We hope to educate as many citizens as we can to make a choice for life. If you don’t ask – how will you know if you may be able to use someone else’s platform for life. All they can do is say no – or…they might just say YES!
From Larry Hell, Director of Wyoming Citizens for Life,
“Wyoming Citizens for Life applauds its affiliate, Goshen County right to Life, for the outstanding work in Torrington and surrounding communities. This chapter of Wyoming Citizens for Life is not only educating the public about the devastating effects of abortion, but also providing the public of the area, young and old, the tools to become involved themselves. The dedication, leadership, and energy of Goshen County’s President Jan Long and her chapter members serve as an excellent example for all pro life people Wyoming.”
Inspired? Absolutely! And this is just one small example of the Grassroots at work. This is repeated all across American, every day, every week, every month. Find the local chapter in your area and join in to help. Get inspired for LIFE!