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Saving Life from the Roots Up

October 16th, 2008

By Michaela Martens

CONTACT:  David Halbrook
Patrick Henry College
(540) 338-8727

Joseph Alm isn’t your average college junior. He doesn’t just study, work, or look to have fun - he’s gotten out of his desk to put his education to action.

“Last fall, I realized that abortion kills a child and that I would do almost anything to save someone who was dying,” Alm says. “Yet I wasn’t doing anything to stop abortion. Those three just don't go together.”

What would you do to save a life? It’s a question Alm first asked himself, and now poses to others through a new pro-life ministry.

“You’re either the kind of person who will to do something to save someone or you aren't,” he observes. “I couldn't accept that I wasn’t.”

Joseph Alm

After spending a lot of time researching volunteer opportunities, Alm noticed “a lack of opportunity to be involved in the pro-life movement.” So over his 2007 Christmas and 2008 spring breaks, he birthed Life Roots, a grassroots, door-to-door canvassing organization. The idea is quite simple—individuals in local communities set up small groups to knock on their neighbors’ doors with a pointed message: "Abortion kills a child."

“I knew that I could sit around and do nothing until the timing was perfect to act,” Alm recalls. “But children would be dying, and so I had no doubt that this was worth it to save them.”

This past summer, rather than surfing and catching up with old friends in San Diego, Alm began networking with church and homeschool groups. He spent forty hours a week working construction and another thirty hours coordinating the launch of Life Roots.

When asked about the personal time he sacrificed to launch Life Roots, Alm shrugged. “We have truth on our side, and the worst thing we can do is sweep it under the rug. Lies win in the darkness; truth wins when people get the information they need to be motivated.”

With a national board now in place, the 30-member original Life Roots chapter plans to expand from San Diego into a self-sustaining network of volunteers. Virginia-based volunteers have already mobilized door-to-door locally, with the message: “Abortion stops a beating heart.”

“What matters now is that people actually consider the issue [of abortion], because there’s no time to assume that something will be done later,” he said.

He challenges his fellow Patrick Henry College students, and Christians nationwide, to begin investing in “life” now. His plea is simple yet urgent: invest, save lives, and consider starting a Life Roots group in your locality.

“Patrick Henry College has the mission to change the nation and shape the culture for Christ,” Alm says. “That starts now, not years down the road. Students are beginning to realize it by starting new outreaches like Life Roots. I can’t wait to see how we will be impacting our nation in ten years!”


For more information about the Life Roots model, contact Joseph Alm.