Story by S.L. Hansen
LINCOLN (SNR) — During Pro-Life Week (April 28-May 2) at Pius X High School in Lincoln, students filled baby bottles around the school with coins, cash and checks to pay for a billboard on behalf of the Lincoln chapter of Birthright International.
The campus ministry office had set a goal of $1,000, but generous students contributed a total of $2,934.
“We were just floored,” said Birthright volunteer Connie Munguia of Cristo Rey Parish in Lincoln.
Birthright is a nonprofit organization that provides love, support and hope to women facing unplanned pregnancies. Munguia said the funds will pay for the purchase of billboard advertising directly across the street from Lincoln’s Planned Parenthood facility on South 48th Street.
Molly Milana of the school’s campus ministry organized the fundraising campaign. Students were asked to bring their contributions to their fifth-period classes, competing to see who would raise the highest amount during Pro-life Week. As fifth period also includes lunchtime for all students, the two classrooms that brought in the most funds were awarded a pizza party.
World Geography teacher Sheila Sievert’s class claimed the top prize by raising $644.09. In second place, Spanish teacher Magali Napier’s students collected $319.
Lincoln Birthright Director Paula Allen said the funds raised by Pius X will enable the organization to purchase three or four months of billboard advertising for crisis pregnancy services.
“We are really thrilled,” Allen said, noting that the organization operates solely on donations and volunteers. “The students raised four entire months’ worth of billboard advertising in less than a week. We are so appreciative!”
The first four-week showing begins May 26. The billboard is already contracted by another advertiser for most of the summer, but thanks to the generosity of Pius X students, the Birthright message will be displayed again from September through November this year.
After that, Munguia hopes that the funds will keep coming in so that Birthright can keep their hotline number on display near the abortion mill indefinitely.
“I told those kids, ‘You guys are not just providing money for a billboard. You are providing hope for these women,’” she said.
Allen, Muguia and another Birthright volunteer were on hand for the pizza party celebrations, where students formally presented them with the proceeds from their pro-life fundraiser. Birthright volunteers also provided dessert for the top three classes.
Students from St. Mary and Saint Michael schools in Lincoln are also raising funds for the Birthright billboard.
Munguia said she would welcome other schools that also want to pitch in their coins and cash. Any school that would like to host a baby bottle fundraising drive can contact Connie Munguia through Birthright at (402) 466-2609.
“Maybe I should have a stretch goal,” she said. “Maybe we can do this billboard for a year!”