The King of All Fundraisers

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"Generation Pro-life": That’s what twenty-somethings are called today. They are the first generation to grow up under Roe v. Wade—and the first to say, by a large majority, that abortion is the wrong choice.

This month they’re backing up their beliefs with plenty of elbow grease. They are holding the king of all fundraisers in order to give women a real choice when they’re facing an unexpected pregnancy.

The idea for the fundraiser came to a student at Thomas Aquinas College last winter. Jon Tonkowich, who is the son of a former colleague of mine, says he had just returned from helping supervise a high school ski trip. He was musing about how to get kids more involved in pro-life activities. As he told “BreakPoint,” “All the statistics we’ve seen say this generation is pro-life. It’s great if the surveys say it, but we wanted to prove it.”

Jon also knew about the yeoman’s work crisis pregnancy centers do in helping women find alternatives to unwanted abortions. And then the light bulb went off. As Jon explained, “When I was in high school and we wanted to raise money for something, we had carwashes.” Why not, he thought, hold a huge, nationwide carwash to benefit hundreds of crisis pregnancy centers?

Jon’s friends thought it was a great idea. They created a website called and began targeting youth groups, Christian schools, radio shows, blogs, and newsletters. They tracked down celebrity car washers willing to get hot and dirty on behalf of mothers and their babies. By Labor Day, 140 groups in thirty-five states had agreed to “wash for life.”

Jon and his friends hope to raise one million dollars, with each Wash for Life group deciding which crisis pregnancy center will receive their proceeds. Organizers hope to create permanent links between youth and the centers they help. They want teens to become more familiar with why women seek out abortions and what they can do to help them make the choice their boyfriends, parents, and the abortion industry often tell them is impossible: life for their unborn baby.

Wash for Life has another goal, as well, Jon says: to put the politicians, the media, and the nation on notice “that our generation respects life and wants to build a compassionate culture of life.” What a terrific message to send.

You know, we really should not be surprised that today’s youth hate abortion. They grew up knowing that one-third of their generation was missing: tens of millions of brothers and sisters, classmates and soccer team members—all dead on the altar of “choice.” They grew up knowing that they themselves might not have survived if their mothers’ circumstances had been a little different.

I hope you will consider holding a car wash for life or donating a location for one in your own town. The date for this event is Saturday, September 16. You can find more information below.

And if you have a dirty car, you know where you ought to be on September 16: at a Wash for Life, helping our kids turn back the culture of death, one abortion at a time.


From BreakPoint®, September 7, 2006, Copyright 2006, Prison Fellowship Ministries. Reprinted with the permission of Prison Fellowship Ministries. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or distributed without the express written permission of Prison Fellowship Ministries. “BreakPoint®” and “Prison Fellowship Ministries®” are registered trademarks of Prison Fellowship Ministries.