Jan. 27- Feb.2,2005
Wear Your Heart on Your Wrist
By Claudia Mathis/ SUN staff writer
Religious Ed Students and Youth Group Receive Pro-Life Wristbands
NORTH SYRACUSE — It all started when Bob Krause read some information about Pro-Life wristbands as he was surfing through the Internet in early January. Krause teaches ninth grade religious education students at St. Rose of Lima Church in North Syracuse. He ordered 100 wristbands and distributed them to the students that were being taught Catholic morality and to the youth group. “I ordered the wristbands because I thought it was putting my faith in action,” said Krause. “I thought it was a great idea.”
The Pro-Life wristbands were well received by the youth. “Here’s an opportunity for you guys to wear your heart on your wrist,” Krause told the students. Krause is also a member of the Respect Life Committee at St. Rose of Lima Church. Several months ago Jeff Geerling, a seminarian at Kenrick-Glennon in St. Louis, Mo., and his sister, Maria Geerling, a teacher’s assistant at Evangelical Children’s Home in St. Louis, were looking for a way to visibly spread the Pro-Life message. Inspired by the popularity of other wristbands, including the Lance Armstrong Foundation’s “Live Strong” bands and the St. Louis Cardinals’ bands for its “Cardinals Care” charity, the Geerlings chose to promote the Pro-Life message with a royal blue band of waterproof, stretchy rubber bearing the word PROLIFE.
Because they wanted to design them in the same way as the Live Strong wristbands, the Geerings contacted the Yew Sheng Enterprise Company in Taipei, Taiwan, to make the bands, complete with the same type font and made of the same material. The Geerlings said they chose to make the bands blue in honor of the Blessed Virgin. They also noted that the color is a symbol of spirituality, grace and truth. The process of having the bands made was not easy. The Geerlings experienced a delay in receiving the wristbands due to their unfamiliarity with the international customs process. Customs eventually released the order of wristbands on Dec. 8.
Maureen Kane, aide for education and youth with the St. Louis Archdiocesan Pro-Life Committee, said the office has been hit with e-mails since the wristbands were posted on its web site. Orders have been coming in from almost every part of the country, including New York City, Port Huron, Mich., Portland, Ore. and Wylie, Texas. The office also has received an order from Northumberland, England. “This is putting a public presence to the Pro-Life issues,” she said.
After having spent many months working on the wristbands, the Geerlings are excited that they are becoming popular. They hope that the wristbands will increase the dedication to the promotion of the right to life for their wearers and all those who see the wristbands. “It is of utmost importance that I try to help the thousands of poor humans lost yearly due to attacks on life,” said Jeff Geerling. “In my preparation for the priesthood, I cannot neglect my brothers and sisters who are murdered every day, and I must work to promote a Pro-Life culture in all that I do.” The Geerlings are looking for ways to get more of the bands out to the general public. For information on placing a bulk order, e-mail Jeff Geerling at firstname.lastname@example.org.