Sunday, September 14, 2014

Open letter to all the Big Damn Heroes of the Internet

Dear Catholics, Big Damn Heroes, and Other White Hats of the Blogosphere,

           How would you like to participate in a stunt that, if it comes off, will REALLY piss the heck out of the folks who profit from abortion, like Planned Parenthood and their kin?

My name is Rae Stabosz. Some of you know me. Most of you don’t. I would like to interrupt your kitten videos, your reddit snark and your all-purpose interwebs fun and bring you a bold display of naked desperation.

You don’t have to label yourself “pro-life”. Labels can sound like polemic. This is a non-political stunt for anybody who holds to this equal care principle: in an unwanted pregnancy, both the pregnant woman AND her unborn child deserve equal respect and care.

            Here’s the stunt:

Between now and Sunday, November 30 – we internet White Hats will pool our resources and fund a SINGLE mobile pregnancy center equipped with ultrasound!

·       It will be beautifully appointed and staffed by professionals; it will park outside of abortion clinics in Delaware and offer FREE ULTRASOUND, FREE PREGNANCY TESTING and FREE COUNSELING to women in crisis.

·       It will also park at fairs, church festivals, and other happy community events, educating the public to the marvels of ultrasound technology and what it shows of intrauterine development.

·       All we want to build the bus and put it on the road is $120,000 in capital expenses. We will get the operating expenses on our own! (there’s a reason for that).

We only need 4800 heroes to donate $25 each!  More than that, and we give it away!

                You may have heard of Save the Storks, the national organization founded by Joe Baker in 2011. Save the Storks is taking the country by storm. Its mission is “to equip pregnancy centers to more effectively connect with abortion-vulnerable women ... by providing Stork Buses — mobile medical units — so that pregnancy centers can offer free sonograms and pregnancy tests wherever women need them.”

                Two months ago, an eclectic group representing two of the three counties of Delaware founded the Delaware Stork Bus, Inc. Our intention is to carry out the Save the Storks vision in Delaware. We have signed a contract with Joe and Co.  We are ready to rumble. And we want your help.

BUT BUT BUT BUT BUT BUT BUT BUT BUT... I can hear you say.

·         “Why should I help you?  Aren’t there other groups in the country trying to get a Stork Bus off the ground?”

·         “I live in Kokomo, Indiana, home of the Kokomo Mantis. Why should I care about little Delaware?”

Fair enough. Here’s where “stunt” part comes in.  I DO live in Delaware, and I DO want to pull out all the stops to get this Stork Bus up and running. I freely admit that it is self-serving.

But if the stunt takes off we could scare the pants off of Planned Parenthood and fund more than just one little Delaware bus!

 “For the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light, “ Jesus tells us in the gospel of Luke.  And isn’t it the truth? 

No Stork Bus project has used crowd funding to our knowledge, and we hope to establish a precedent.  The secular world has been a lot quicker to harness the power of crowd sourcing than we have been.  Witness the success of the ALS Bucket challenge. In two weeks’ time it made four million dollars for the ALS Association and its 38 chapters. It did this by harnessing the power of social media and the fun of seeing people (especially celebrities) have buckets of ice dumped on one another.

Yet the ALS Association supports using human embryos for stem cell research, and so Catholics and others were not able to embrace this as readily as some.

$120,000 is just 4800 donors giving $25 each. What if the White Hat blogosphere gives more?? 

Here is the deal, and it’s a good one:

If we raise more than $120,000 between now and the end of November, we will give 100% of all additional monies collected to the national Save the Storks project!

That’s right! We are not greedy. This is our first fundraiser, and we are targeting our capital expenses only.  We will trust in our fundraising acumen to raise the first three year’s operating expenses on our own. We came up with this stunt not just for Delaware Stork Bus, but for all of us.We want to show the abortion industry that we can get a fully-outfitted Stork Bus on the road in a little more than two-months time. That will have them shaking in their stylish yet affordable boots!

But we don’t want this to be a Zero Sum Game.  If YOU give to US, we don’t want you to worry that other Stork Buses will suffer.

Save the Storks gives grant money as part of its mission. So if our little stunt goes anywhere, and we collect any extra we make above our capital goal of $120,000, we will give the rest to Joe and his good people to give in grants as they see fit.

Most of you don’t know me from Eve, even though I’ve been an internet presence since before there was an Internet! (international PLATO system in the late 70’s, anyone?) I have left a 20+ years trail on the Internet.  Look me up and see if I seem trustworthy.

Look our entire Board of Directors up! You’ll find some surprises!

Yes, you will find that we have paid our dues. We are trustworthy.  Children of light: allons-y!  No need to be less sensible than the children of the world!

Rae Stabosz, with the Delaware Stork Bus Board of Directors:
Evelyn Baldwin
Susan Bullock
Nicole Collins
Jayne Mitchell-Werbrich
Ed Taubert
Tim Werbrich

Saturday, September 06, 2014

Baring my all for the Delaware Stork Bus

Dear Friends,

Many of you know that I have labored for years to figure out how persons of good will from both sides of the abortion debate could work together to offer non-partisan, non-judgmental help to women who are experiencing unwanted pregnancy. It's no secret that I think that abortion is a tragedy. It is a unique instance of an injustice perpetrated against one class of human beings - gestating humans -- by a class that by all rights should be their greatest protectors -- their pregnant mothers. Even writing that sentence, I am no doubt alienating folks on both sides of the social issue.

I have put myself on the front lines of this social issue because while none of us can eliminate all the injustices in the world, we can each spend some of our “time, talent and treasure” trying to restore justice and balance to at least one upended aspect of human and social living. 

Being on the front lines has cost me a lot. I have recently, through the help of my husband and other concerned loved ones, come to realize that I do not have the constitution for conflict. People are often surprised to hear that I am an introvert.  That may be because I do have a great love for a great number of individual human beings, as well as a heart that aches for how much it longs to exchange love with greater and greater numbers of the fascinating and lovable women and men who share this earth with me. I love people in all their variety, with all their flaws. That's the simple truth.

But the social activism I have done since I retired from the University of Delaware eight years ago has lead me into conflicts I could never have imagined -- conflicts with both "friend and foe."  And I am constitutionally not built to handle it without damage to myself. And so I am in the process of retiring from social activism. I want to spend my remaining years taking care of my own health and being involved in "family activism" -- I want to be the wife, mother and grandmother that my large and wonderful family deserve.

But I want to leave a legacy. And the Delaware Stork Bus has all the markings of that legacy. I am working with some good people whose interest is in equal care and respect for women AND their unborn children in a crisis pregnancy situation.

We have incorporated as a non-profit organization, Delaware Stork Bus, Inc., and are in the process of applying for 501c3 tax-exempt status.  We have signed a contract with the national Save the Storks organization that has pioneered these small, mobile units across the nation. We have a small seeding of donor money, and the hope that this is an idea whose time has come in Delaware.

We are launching a GoFundMe crowd-funding campaign to use social media to spread the word and find donors for this very good cause.

We want to bring a mobile pregnancy center to Delaware. We want to travel the three counties of Delaware offering free ultrasound, free pregnancy testing, free counseling, and free resource referral. We want to use it also as a traveling educational van, a presence at state fairs, festivals and community events.  We want to gain the trust of all people of good will who are interested in women's and children's health, beyond the conflicts and confines imposed on women by the social issue of abortion.

The Delaware Stork Bus will be a warm, supportive environment where pregnancy is neither sentimentalized, nor feared, nor despised. It will be a safe haven for women to relax, be tested and scanned, speak freely to professionals, ask questions, and receive information. Above all, it will be a space where women can be authentically themselves – respected and free from societal pressure -- as they work out this crisis in their lives.

Some of you may be surprised to hear that after all the years of laboring to make this happen, I am not taking a leadership role in the Delaware Stork Bus. I stepped down a few months ago to attend to my own health. There is a time for leading, and a time for relinquishing the reins. I remain on the Board and am pleased as punch to be a "Go-fer" and a "Do-er" and a willing “foot soldier” to the leadership I helped to recruit.

I hope you will consider supporting us. Click here to go to our GoFundMe donors page.   From there you can make a donation of any size. From there you can also spread the news of the Delaware Stork Bus by email, Facebook and Twitter.

Many of you have wanted to support an effort like this in Delaware. Help us make it happen!


A “crowd funding” campaign like this one depends on a “crowd of donors” each contributing a modest amount rather than a few large foundations or private donors each making a substantial contribution.  If you want to help with a donation of any size but need more information, please contact me or 302-731-7692.  I would be happy to show you our business plan, our three-year budget, and show you the list of existing pregnancy centers and community organizations with whom we are establishing connections. I will answer any questions you might have about the long-term viability and goals of the Delaware Stork Bus.