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 NOTE ABOUT DONATING:

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 atrstabosz@gmail.com 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.

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