Many of our over 40 chapters over the summer participated in fairs, festivals, and carnivals across Pennsylvania. We recently asked two of our chapter presidents—Tim Broderick of People for Life in Erie County and Jeff Myers of Life 30:19, our Franklin County chapter, some questions about their participation in taking the pro-life message to the community.
Below are the answers from Tim Broderick…stay tuned next week for Jeff’s responses.
Editor’s note: some answers have been edited for space.
Editor: What is the most common question/statement you get while working at a fair/festival?
Tim: We hear a wide range of comments. Most all of them are friendly and positive, thankfully. The single most common statement is, simply “Thank you for being here!”
Another question that we often hear is very straight-forward and goes something like: “Why are you here?” Or simply, “What IS this?” The short answer might be: “This is a pro-life booth and we’re here to stop abortion!” But we like to be a little more circumspect. If a little child is asking, we might say, “We’re here to remind people that EVERYONE is important, no matter how SMALL they are.” On other occasions, we might gesture toward the unborn baby models and say, “We’re here because we think babies like this should be protected.” Most people get the idea.
Editor: Why do you participate in local fairs/festivals?
Tim: We believe that the right to life is a basic human right that should be on everyone’s mind.
Every person needs to hear and understand the pro-life message. But some of the people who need to hear it the most are not likely, for instance, to walk into a pro-life organization’s office, to visit a pro-life website, or to hear a pro-life sermon in some pro-life church. We try to take the message where those people can be found, if not at a rib fest, maybe a wine fest, a pumpkin fest, a fire company carnival, or maybe a country fair. We want to help “mainstream” the pro-life cause and make wholesome, pro-life attitudes a natural, everyday part of American culture.
We hope our booths can help at least in some small way to get some of our fellow Americans to “lighten up,” to get back in touch with who they really are as human beings, and to be able to marvel along with us at the amazing mysteries of human life.
Editor: What piece of advice would you give someone looking to participate at a pro-life booth at their local fair/festival?
Tim: Keep it real! We always try to make it obvious that we are just regular, every-day people who happen to have some interesting information that we like to share with our friends and neighbors.
Have fun! Sometimes smiles speak louder than actions, or words.
Tailor your booth and your message for everyone! All kinds — all kinds — of people can understand and relate to the idea of defending innocent human lives. The important thing is for people to know that they can make a difference if they want to.
Don’t do anything to narrow your audience to “pro-lifers,” or churchgoers, or people that you might identify with politically.