Changing lives, one broken machine at a time
December 9, 2015 - Bringing hardworking men and women together with generous organizations allows pregnancy health centers to receive the ultrasound machines that they desperately need. Through this model, the Livingston County Ultrasound Initiative (LCUI) has helped provide seven ultrasound machines for pregnancy centers, with more on the way.
Back in 2011 Tim Donovan, who served as a district deputy in the Knights of Columbus, contacted a pregnancy help center that was struggling with their ultrasound machine. They met and a 20-minute meeting turned into a two-and-a-half-hour discussion. When he left, he was completely overwhelmed.
“It changed my life forever,” he said. “Not just mine but my wife’s and my family’s as well.”
The next day the machine broke. They were able to fix it, but it added urgency to the need.
His experience has given Tim a strong desire to help pregnancy centers obtain ultrasound machines. These machines are key tools in helping women understand the humanity of their child and help them make decisions that save lives. Tim worked endlessly to make sure that this pregnancy center had enough funds for a new ultrasound machine.
The Knights of Columbus for several years has offered a program to help purchase ultrasound machines. After receiving a request from a prolife pregnancy center, the Knights of Columbus conduct a review and once approved they will provide matching funds so that pregnancy centers can receive these life-saving tools.
In January of 2012, Tim took the director of the pregnancy center to all of the council meetings in Livingston County. By February, they had formed a committee, the Livingston County Ultrasound Initiative. They raised $20,000 in two months and by April they delivered the ultrasound machine. It was the beginning of a beautiful thing.
Then they faced the question: Where do we go from here?
“It started me thinking outside of the box,” Tim said.
They decided to form their own 501(c)3 nonprofit organization in 2014. They recently celebrated their first anniversary and have received support from other organizations, including Right to Life of Livingston County. So far they have helped centers obtain seven ultrasound machines. LCUI works with the Knights of Columbus to match these funds.
“We work hand in hand with the Knights of Columbus to get the matching funds,” Tim said. “We’re all trying to work together to protect the sanctity of life.”
Their reputation has spread as they've successfully helped pregnancy centers and Knights of Columbus councils raise funds.
“The councils get to a brick wall and they need something to put them over the top, that’s where we come in” Tim said.
LCUI holds two fundraisers each year. They have an annual spring raffle and a fall golf outing. They also accept online donations and work with area churches.
“Awareness in Livingston County is more dominant, but it’s not where it needs to be,” Tim said.
Not only does LCUI help pay for ultrasound machines, they are using this opportunity to promote awareness about the issue of abortion, women and families in need, and ultimately protecting the sanctity of human life.
LCUI has been contacted by five additional centers in the last few months for ultrasound machines. They attribute their success to the original vision of the Knights of Columbus and their volunteers who help make that vision a reality.
“We have very committed people working with us. There’s nothing stronger than the heart of a volunteer,” Tim said.
If you or someone you know is experiencing an unplanned pregnancy or would like information about adoption or post-abortion assistance, there are options. For help, please call 1-800-57WOMAN, a toll-free hotline, or view our online listings for a help center near you.