I don’t often write about charitable organizations. It’s not that I don’t appreciate their work, it’s just that none have inspired me to put down in words what they make me feel.
Around Christmastime, I received an email concerning Good Counsel. It is an organization started to help homeless mothers give birth to their children and provide a safe, loving environment. On their website here their vision and mission statement are explained.
Good Counsel recognizes the dignity of God-given life from the moment of conception, fostering a nurturing, safe family environment, encouraging self-respect and independence for pregnant mothers and their children in a diverse community of all faiths and beliefs.
Through the intercession of Our Lady of Good Counsel and Mary’s Missionaries, The Good Counsel family promotes the Corporal Works of Mercy for mothers and their children, building a network of homes while advancing the Culture of Life across these United States.
I thought that was something. This organization was started because of Christopher Bell and his compassion for others.
Christopher Bell received the inspiration to create Good Counsel while working and living at Covenant House in Times Square, a ministry for homeless youth. Joining the Covenant House Community in 1979, where members prayed three hours a day and worked full-time for $10 a week, Christopher Bell encountered the dire need for homeless pregnant women. He turned to his spiritual advisor, Father Benedict Groeschel, a Franciscan priest and psychologist, asking, “Why someone isn’t doing something about this?” Fr. Groeschel said he would help him. Together they founded what would be called Good Counsel, which started in a former convent in Hoboken, NJ on March 10, 1985.
Of all the soul destroying things that can happen, being homeless must be the hardest to bear. Nowhere to go, no place to lay your head, nowhere to shut out the world-confusion and feel safe. Imaging being pregnant in those circumstances. I cannot. I cannot imagine being homeless and know that there, but for the Grace of God, go I. I know it can happen to the most industrious among us, to those who suffer from mental illness, to those who have no family or friends who will or can help. I know that it is the complete loss of everything we desire for ourselves and our children.
I have been hungry. I have been alone. I have faced harsh economic times. I have never been homeless. I am grateful.
This organization is the first I’ve known that is specifically for the help and aid of homeless pregnant women. The stories on their website are heartwarming and compassionate.
If only those spending thousands of dollars to travel to Washington, D.C. to demonstrate for their rights would contribute one tenth of that to Good Counsel, lives would be saved. No one is going to take away anyone’s “rights” but being homeless and pregnant could easily result in the death of the mother and the child. Not saving RIGHTS, but saving LIVES. Which is more compassionate?