Kyle Gudger is like most 10-year-old boys—he enjoys Legos, robotics, and playing drums. However, he is also unique. Kyle is among the one percent of children whose birthmother made an adoption plan when she faced an unplanned pregnancy.
His biological mother’s choice to not abort eleven years ago, and her story is a primary reason Kyle participated in the Baby Bottle Boomerang, a winter fundraiser for True Care Women’s Resource Center in Casper, Wyo.
“I want to give kids the same option I had—I want to give them the chance to live by helping the moms,” Kyle said. “Putting a couple of coins in can change the course of history. That person [saved from abortion] could become famous, could become president, could make a difference in the world.”
Kyle collected just over $24 and put the bottle of money into the basket with other coin-filled baby bottles his church presented to True Care last month.
Seeing youth like Kyle participate in events and other ways to help True Care is inspiring, said the organization’s president.
“We always welcome young people who would like to help with fundraisers,” said Terry Winship, who has overseen the center for more than 18 years.
“I remember when [True Care’s former board chairman] brought his middle school kids in to help empty bottles,” Winship said. “They were amazed and delighted to discover a few hundred dollar bills and some large checks. It showed them just how generous our community is, as well as the fact that there really are people in our community from lots of different denominations who are passionate about the mission of True Care.”
Students from a local private school have also contributed to the center’s mission. The kindergarten class filled baby bottles and came to the center with their teacher, presenting the bottles to Winship.
“I had a chance to thank them and tell them their bottles would help babies and moms who were in need,” she said.
The 8th grade class from the same school raised money at their recent Winter Festival and donated the funds to True Care.
Far from a localized trend, True Care’s support from school-age children, teenagers and young adults reflects a generation that is increasingly mobilized to meet the needs of women in unexpected pregnancies with life-affirming alternatives to abortion.
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The current generation appears to be more pro-life compared to past generations. In fact, a 2016 poll, commissioned by Students for Life, found that 53 percent of millennials believe abortion should be illegal in nearly all circumstances, while 17 percent of respondents said abortion should never be legal and 36 percent believe abortion should only be legal in extreme cases, such as rape, incest or when the life of the mother is at risk.
Coverage in The Washington Times pointed out that, “a majority of millennials support increasing restrictions on abortion, even if many of them do not identify as ‘pro-life.’”
Back in Wyoming, Alyssa Schaff, a college sophomore, started volunteering at True Care more than a year ago. She helps with events like the Baby Bottle Boomerang and the summer Walk for Life, collecting data and counting money.
She also volunteers two hours a week at the office making copies for staff, creating packets for monthly Vision Tours, and helping fold and store donated items like blankets and baby clothes. After this month’s spring break, she plans to help staff a table at the local community college, providing information about True Care to her fellow students.
“I like what True Care does. There are so many people that think Planned Parenthood is the only place to go for help—that isn’t true,” Schaff said. “I like helping how I can. Everything is important. If you volunteer and are just making copies, you have a part in giving women hope.”
Helping the pro-life organization has a special significance to Kyle Gudger, who turns 11 on March 14—his adoptive parents’ wedding anniversary. His birthmother went to a pregnancy resource center, and he knows she could have made a different choice.
“It’s a privilege to be adopted,” he said. “I think it’s important for a kid to have a father and a mother and to feel loved. I wouldn’t be sitting here if it hadn’t been for my birthmother and the decision she made. I’m thankful.”