This year, Biking for Babies hopes to say that it has raised over $1 million for pregnancy resource centers across the United States during our 12 years of existence. For the past 10 years, I have watched Biking for Babies gather more young adults, who bring in more mission partners (people who donate to Biking for Babies), and who get better at reaching more mission partners. Each year, we have been able to raise more and more money and it has been beautiful to watch! I myself have been a fundraiser for Biking for Babies for many years and many family members, friends, and colleagues have financially supported Biking for Babies on my behalf. I do not state that as a pat on the back, but to demonstrate that I am intimately aware how wonderful it is to have people financially support Biking for Babies’ dedication to renewing a culture of life through our amazing pregnancy resource centers. Therefore, do not take what I am about to say as a slight towards the financial aspect of Biking for Babies fundraising; rather, read this blog with an open heart and I hope you gain an awareness of one of the most necessary changes our culture needs in order to become a culture of life.
When I was 18 years old, I completed my first Biking for Babies National Ride. I was raised a devout Christian in a family that truly valued life at all stages. God created life, and therefore our greatest duty was to defend, nourish, and love it. When Jimmy (one of our founders) introduced Biking for Babies to me, he explained what pregnancy resource centers were and what the Women’s Care Center of Madison, WI was hoping to do in the Madison area. In my 18 years of life, I had never heard of such a ministry. A place where women go for free care for themselves and their child! It sounded too good to be true! Then, after the National Ride, I handed in a modest $2,000 check to the director of the brand-new Women’s Care Center, and they showed me around the new building. They showed me the ultrasound room, the Crib Club (where moms shop for free baby supplies), and the counseling rooms. I was dumbfounded by the beauty, the authentic love and care that was put into the design of that building and that was shown by the women who worked there. By the end of the tour, I cried and was so moved that I continued to ride for the next 5 years and maintain a leadership role with Biking for Babies to this day.
As I stated earlier, yes, the $2,000 check was impactful for that center and the women they serve, but the most impactful event of that meeting was that I became a champion for that center. I learned, and continue to learn, what that center does for women and their children. I taught my parents, family members, and friends the work that goes on behind those doors and they too fell in love with pregnancy resource centers. As I previously wrote, Biking for Babies is not JUST a philanthropical organization. It IS a culture movement. Let me paint you a picture. 50 missionaries raise $225,000 for pregnancy resource centers across the country. Great, BUT those 50 missionaries also learn about their partnered pregnancy resource center. To pick an easy number, let us just say each missionary teaches 20 other individuals about the pregnancy resource center they are partnered with. That is 1,000 people who just learned, maybe for the first time, what a pregnancy resource center is and what these centers are tangibly doing for those in crisis right now! That is a movement, but I want to take it one step further. If you are donating to Biking for Babies this year, YOU are a part of the mission and a part of the culture change we are striving for. Therefore, just like every person in our organization, we all need to be spreading the word about the good work that our pregnancy resource centers do! Therefore, I want to propose a new way you can reorient your financial partnership with Biking for Babies by reverting the common phrase, “put your money where your mouth is,” to “put your mouth where your money is.” Pray about your donation amount and think about it in a new light. If you donate $100 to one of our amazing missionaries this year, think about the impact that has. Let’s estimate that $100 would supply 1 woman with diapers for about 6 months. But, that woman who needs those diapers needs to know that the pregnancy resource center exists in order to receive those diapers! My challenge to you is this: go out and find that person. When you donate, talk to your friends about the good work pregnancy resource centers are doing. If you do not know, ask one of our amazing missionaries who are learning what our pregnancy resource centers provide! If you tell even 5 people, and our missionaries are bringing in 20 mission partners this year, that means (okay, here’s the math: 50x20x5) 5,000 people will have learned about the life saving work of our pregnancy resource centers!! Over time, as we get more missionaries and more mission partners, my friends, that is a culture change. That is a movement towards a country that is excited to aid and love pregnant women in ANY circumstance.