Cincinnati Pregnancy Center Receives $54,000 From Knights of Columbus Archbishop Elder Council 1195
CINCINNATI, OHIO – Knights have collected $54,000 in coins, cash and checks for Old St. Mary’s Pregnancy Center since 2011. Because of the baby bottle collection efforts of Archbishop Elder Council 1195, the center can educate and provide care for women during and after pregnancy.
Past Grand Knight Tom Hahn noted St. Mary’s is also the only pregnancy care center directly connected with a Catholic parish, Old St. Mary’s Catholic Church in downtown Cincinnati. The Knights are not members of St. Mary’s, but chose to help out anyway. At their home parish of St. Gertrude in Madeira, Knights raise thousands of dollars each year through cash-filled baby bottles from their parishioners.
The Knights of Columbus is the largest fraternal Catholic organization dedicated to defending life. Whether they are serving at crisis pregnancy centers, collaborating with Special Olympics, or participating in pro-life demonstrations, Knights like the men of St. Gertrude Parish tirelessly defend the dignity of every human life.
“It is always so inspiring to see the creative and dynamic ways councils assist pregnancy centers, which are on the front lines doing heroic work for the pro-life movement in the United States,” Life Program Manager Tyler Lomnitzer said on behalf of the Supreme Council.
Hahn shared that Terri Huwel, who runs the center, “does no fundraising of any kind,” quietly relying on the charity of others.
“No banquets, no mailings to a donor list, nothing but depend on God’s good graces to lead the donors to the center,” Hahn said.
According to Huwel, both parishes help the center provide women with spiritual support as well as life-saving assistance.
“Our mission at Old St. Mary’s Pregnancy Center is to save the lives of unborn children and help their moms with material supplies,” Huwel said. “Our counseling and daily Bible Study help with evangelization.”
Some of the items the center offers include diapers, wipes, bathing necessities, strollers, car seats, clothing and bottles for formula and milk. Hahn said that bottles used explicitly for cash were the turning point for the council’s involvement in 2011, when a parish in Northern Kentucky offered its “trove” of baby bottles to the council. Once they had bottles to fill with cash, the Knights began drawing in donations from St. Gertrude, their parish, with individual donors contributing as much as $1,000 each year.
“We also have a Newborn Baby Packet Program where moms receive a large bag of much-needed items after attending a class,” Huwel said, emphasizing their reliance on the charity of others. “The money we receive is a godsend.”
According to Hahn, the council tries to hold the fundraising efforts around March 25, the Day of the Unborn Child, spending two weeks collecting cash, coins and checks. Because of these fundraising efforts, the center is able to keep its doors open and continue serving women in the community.
“We’re called upon to protect the unborn, to protect those who need a helping hand, those who are less fortunate than us,” Hahn said. “Through our faith and God’s good works, we feel this is a way to further the culture of life.”
Pregnancy Center Support is one of the newest programs formally added to the new Faith In Action program model.