Group aims to pay it forward


In late January, a local Catholic service organization took on a challenge to help purchase an ultrasound machine to support Pregnancy Care Centers of South Central Indiana.

The Knights of Columbus Council 1252 in Seymour is working to raise around $14,000, half the cost of the machine, which will be donated to the Pregnancy Care Center in North Vernon.

The machines cost around $28,000 total, with the other half coming from the Knights of Columbus national program, which offers dollar-for-dollar matching grants for such efforts.

Dave Rossi, financial secretary for the Seymour Knights, said the group is asking other area churches to join the cause.

“Saving a baby’s life isn’t just a Catholic issue or any particular denomination’s issue, it’s a Christian issue,” he said. “Ninety percent of women who are vulnerable to abortion will change their mind after seeing an ultrasound picture.”

Rossi didn’t say how much money had been raised so far because he doesn’t want to limit people’s desire to give, he said.

“I don’t want to say that we’ve reached our goal because any remaining money will go into a line item in their budget to maintain the machines, upgrade the software and if one breaks, purchase a new one,” he said.

There are about 200 members in the Seymour chapter of Knights of Columbus.

“In Jackson County, we are a very small Catholic community, and most of the money we’ve raised so far has come from St. Ambrose Catholic Church, but we want to reach out and invite others to help out,” he said. “We prayed about it and turned it over to the hands of God, and if the Lord wants it to succeed, it will. So far, it’s going very well.”

Rossi said the Knights are not asking churches for a donation but asking them to appeal to their congregations to give individuals the opportunity to be pro-life and save babies.

“As individuals, we have very few opportunities to do something like this and save babies in the community we live in,” he said. “That’s what I find so exciting.”

The project is based around the idea of Paying it Forward, where one nice action leads to another. In this case, Seymour’s Pregnancy Care Center received an ultrasound machine purchased by the Knights of Columbus in Shelbyville.

Pregnancy Care Center board member Denny Frey, a former Seymour Knight who now lives in Shelbyville, came up with the idea.

The Knights of Columbus in North Vernon has now been challenged by Seymour to raise another $14,000 to purchase a machine for Greensburg.

“It’s a pretty amazing story,” said Tim Bond, executive director of Pregnancy Care Centers of South Central Indiana. The agency serves six counties, with its headquarters in Columbus.

Seymour’s center opened in 2002 and had 821 client visits last year, Bond said.

Ultrasound machines are used at the centers to show mothers the baby growing in their wombs, he added.

“For a woman facing an unplanned pregnancy, we offer a free ultrasound and also material support such as diapers, formula and clothing to help them out in their situation,” Bond said. “More support results in more mothers keeping their babies. We also help them with alternatives such as adoption.”

Columbus’ ultrasound machine failed, so funds were procured by the center’s board to purchase a new one. Meanwhile, a portable unit, which resembles a laptop computer, was shared by the other centers.

“It was adequate, but it didn’t do as good of a job as these new ones do,” Bond said. “The new models are state-of-the-art and show a much better image.”

More money than was needed to purchase Columbus’ unit was raised, so the board gave the remaining funds to the Shelbyville Knights to purchase a machine for their center.

But Shelbyville’s chapter had already raised some funds on their own, so they took their additional money and invested it in Seymour’s center and then challenged Seymour Knights to “pay it forward.”

“The Knights want us to have the best and are willing to invest,” Bond said. “This has been a tremendous gift for us.”

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Anyone wanting to donate to a project to purchase ultrasound machines for Pregnancy Care Centers of South Central Indiana may do so by making checks payable to Knights of Columbus and mailing them to Knights of Columbus, P.O. Box 1205, Seymour, IN 47274.

It should be noted on the check that funds are for the pregnancy care center project.


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