Catholic Free Press

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  • Dec
  • 26

Baby Face campaign raises money, awareness

Posted By December 26, 2013 | 1:23 pm | Local
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By Patricia O’Connell
CFP Correspondent

WEBSTER – The Respect Life Ministry at Sacred Heart Parish has held numerous fundraisers over the years. But few were as successful the Baby Face campaign.
“That seemed to be one of our best ones,” said ministry spokeswoman Linda Paquette.
Baby Face involves creating thousands of images of babies’ faces. People then sponsor a “baby” for $1. The faces are pinned to a large plastic sheet that hangs in the church.
The first Baby Face campaign took place eight years ago. It raised $4,000. This money was donated to Problem Pregnancy, a pro-life crisis pregnancy center on Pleasant Street in Worcester located across from a Planned Parenthood facility where abortions are performed.
This fall, parishioners revived the Baby Face campaign. This time $2,800 was raised for Problem Pregnancy and Visitation House in Worcester. Visitation House is a home for women facing crisis pregnancies.
Ministry members made 4,000 “baby faces.” The original images were created by a former student at St. Peter-Marian Central Catholic High School in Worcester, who belonged to a school group named “Guardians for Life.”
She drew four different faces. These represented African, Asian, Caucasian and Hispanic children at risk for being aborted. The Sacred Heart ministry then copied the drawings and made them available for people to sponsor.
Mrs.  Paquette said the number 4,000 is significant. That represents the number of children killed each day by abortion in the United States.
“We just wanted people to have that visual,” she noted. “This is what happens every day in our country.”
She said the images hanging in the church were very powerful. They were displayed for all of October and for most of November.
Mrs. Paquette explained that parishioners Bob and Carol Mason came up with the idea for the Baby Face campaign. Because the first drive was so successful, a decision was made to do it again.
The Masons are the ones who took the purchased faces home and painstaking pinned each one to plastic tablecloths, which were then hung from the choir loft.
“It was a lot of work,” she noted. “They did a lot of work.”
“I thought it looked very impressive,” she said of the finished project.
The faces were added incrementally, as the number of sponsored faces increased. “Each week more were added, so it was really fun watching it grow,” Mrs. Paquette said.
However, this year, less money was raised, something she attributed to the economy.
Some people donated large amounts, she noted. “This year we got people who gave us $100 at a time.
Mrs. Paquette said some people also matched the larger donations. This was made public during the campaign in order to help the cause.
“The parishioners are great at Sacred Heart,” she said. “No matter what they ask they always come through.”
Prayer was also an important part of the effort. “We just asked them (the parishioners) to pray for the babies,” she added.
Will this be an annual event?
Mrs. Paquette said it’s an enormous amount of work, so maybe it will come back in a few years.