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“Adopt-a-baby”: Coming to a fair booth near you

Adopt-a-babySeptember 29, 2015 - New ideas to highlight prolife booths at fairs are tough to come up with. Creating a balance between drawing people to your booth and educating the fairgoers is difficult. Fortunately Laura Hammes has been able to do that several times for Ingham County Right to Life’s fair activities.

Laura, the educational coordinator for the Right to Life of Michigan Lansing Resource Center, invented yet another ingenious activity for the Ingham County Fair. Adopt-a-baby uses fetal models to draw people to the booth and help educate them about fetal development. Laura said that it was a great way to interact with fairgoers.

The idea came to Laura while looking through a catalog for prizes and seeing rubber ducks. She thought about having a tub of rubber ducks and marking some for a prize, but wondered how that could possibly relate to prolife issues. The idea progressed from there until it became adopt-a-baby.

Laura ordered around 250 small fetal models for the new game. With some other volunteers helping she put each model in a clear, plastic bag. They found a doll’s cradle at a local yard sale and lined it with a baby blanket. They then took another baby blanket and cut holes in it large enough to fit a hand through it. Each day they put 40 babies in the cradles, and ten of the bags had special marks on them to illustrate the adopted babies.

Fairgoers paid a 25 cent adoption fee to participate by “adopting” a small fetal model. Those who drew one with a special mark on it received a prize. Prize ideas include candy, little toys, prolife stickers, and balloons.

With years of successful fair booth ideas and experience under her belt, Laura found that people responded really well to this new activity. They had a baby bottle bank to collect the money and people often donated more money than the requested adoption fee.

“If you have something to draw them in we have found it has worked really well. Try to have something for each age group,” Laura said.

One man with four kids came up to the table during the fair. Laura’s grandson asked him if he wanted to adopt a baby.

“See these four children? I already did,” the man replied.

In the past, their fair booth simply had fetal models available for fairgoers to take, but sometimes parents would object to letting their children take them. Laura said this new activity completely changed the dynamic, drawing parents and children in, and ultimately leading to more discussions about the fetal models and a baby's life in the womb..

Laura’s advice for others wishing to try this activity is to make a colorful sign advertising it to increase traffic to their booth. Pictures of babies and a sign clearly giving the activity’s instructions are also very helpful. Laura also had packets of prolife information available for parents while their kids were occupied with adopt-a-baby.

“It’s a good way to get people involved,” she said. “It makes fairs more fun, instead of just sitting.”

For more information about resources available for your fair booth or other educational outreach, contact your nearest Right to Life of Michigan Educational Resource Center.

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