Written by Emily Wilkinson, Students for Life West Coast Regional Coordinator
We can all think of times in our lives that we’ve had a tendency to give up on something. This could be because we feel like the task is too overwhelming, or it’s too late to get started, or we’d be better off waiting until another time that we could do a bigger and better job.
For pro-life students who constantly face an uphill battle, the temptation to give up in different ways can be very strong.
Maybe you tried recruiting members but you only signed up a few names…….so you chalk it up to the campus being super pro-abortion and you stop trying altogether.
Maybe you have a small club…….so you decide not to hold any events until you get bigger.
Maybe you’ve been considering starting a Students for Life club all year…….but since you’ve already waited until April, you decide you may as well wait until next fall to get things going.
These are all understandable situations. And if you’ve experienced any one of them, don’t feel too special, because struggles like these are common for many Students for Life clubs. Very few are the perfect picture of success with dozens of members who faithfully show up to every single meeting and event and eagerly volunteer to help with every task in their overabundance of free time!! And the groups who are super successful have put in a lot of effort to get to that point.
Running a Students for Life group on your campus is hopefully fun and inspiring at least some of the time. But most of the time, it will be difficult. It will challenge you, exhaust you, and take up your time. You will be frustrated with other members, run into problems with your administration, and face a campus that seems overwhelmingly pro-choice or hopelessly apathetic.
Most all, leading a Students for Life group requires sacrifice.
Nobody said it would be easy! But we must remember that babies are dying and mothers are being hurt every single day. That fact should bring a sense of urgency and recognition of the importance of our work that overwhelms the day-to-day struggles. You are not single-handedly responsible for abolishing abortion, but you are called to simply do what you can.
So the next time you have a meeting where only one person shows up, don’t cancel it- use that time to go through your agenda together, brainstorm about recruitment, and plan your next event.
The next time you have a less than successful day of recruitment, don’t give up- let it strengthen your resolve to try again tomorrow and find those hundreds or thousands of pro-life students on your campus who exist (we know they exist because half of the population calls themselves pro-life!).
If your club is just a few members strong, don’t wait to grow before you become active- decide to become active in order to grow. Many easy events can be planned and executed with just a small handful of students, such as hanging posters, chalking pro-life messages, holding a simple diaper drive outside a grocery store, handing out literature, or setting up a simple tabling display to engage students. Being active will attract the attention of campus and naturally bring new members, because people want to be part of a group that actually does things.
And if you are considering starting a Students for Life club, don’t wait until next year- start now, and whatever you accomplish in the next few months before the school year is over will put you WAY ahead next fall when other new clubs have to spend the whole semester just getting established. In a couple of months you could easily gather some interest, have a few casual meetings, and do an easy event or two. Contact your Regional Coordinator for help getting started!
I am only one,
But still I am one.
I cannot do everything,
But still I can do something;
And because I cannot do everything,
I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.
-Edward Everett Hale, 19th century author and clergyman