The 14th annual Benefit for Life was held on Friday, Oct. 7, to support the work of four ministries in the Diocese of Raleigh: BirthChoice, The Gabriel Project, Family Honor and Project Rachel. The sole mission of the four ministries is to empower women and men to make informed decisions that respect the dignity and integrity of every human life.
The theme of the event was: “Chosen. Called to Love. Called to Serve. Called to Share.” More than 300 people attended the dinner, which was held at North Ridge Country Club in Raleigh. The guest of honor was the Most Reverend Michael F. Burbidge, fifth bishop of Raleigh.
Jason Jones, movie producer, author, activist and human rights worker, was the guest speaker. Mr Jones began his talk with his own tragic experience of his teenage girlfriend's abortion and his vow to work to end abortion. That journey brought him to today. His humanitarian work is focused on the whole person regardless of race, creed or ability. He is the founder of HERO (Human-rights Education and Relief Organization), a nonprofit that promotes human dignity in all stages of life through international education and relief services.
The gala is the largest fundraiser for the four ministries. The evening was underwritten in advance so that all funds raised that evening will go directly to the ministries. Nearly $200,000 was raised which supports most of the yearly budgets. "I was encouraged and inspired by the deep commitment of our community to our life-saving work and dignity of human life," said Mona Saul, Director of Birthchoice. "God has blessed our ministries with the necessary financial resources which supports the hard work of our many faithful volunteers. Our goal and focus remains to warmly surround our struggling clients with hope and the assistance needed to bring their babies into the world."
About the ministries that received financial support from the Benefit for Life gala:
The mission of Birthchoice is to provide an alternative to abortion by offering practical assistance and professional resources with the purpose of saving the life of the baby and assisting the mother. Birthchoice is a medical clinic which provides pregnancy tests and limited obstetrical ultrasounds at no charge to clients.
The Gabriel project offers support to Birthchoice clients and other agency clients by mentoring moms before and after their child is born. Volunteers are trained to become Gabriel “Angels” and walk with mothers through their pregnancies.
Project Rachel is a healing ministry assisting both men and women who are experiencing emotional trauma as a result of an abortion. Participants attend a support group and take part in retreats.
Family Honor is a nonprofit organization that creates opportunities and provides tools for parents and children to connect on important life issues, with a focus on chastity and God’s gift of sexuality.