Baby Bottle Brigade FAQs

What is the Baby Bottle Brigade – (“BBB” or “Brigade”)?

The Knights of Columbus Baby Bottle Brigade is the metro area’s component of the State of Missouri Meet Life Campaign. The Baby Bottle Brigade is a Pro-life strategy promoted by the local Knights of Columbus councils within both St. Louis and Kansas City metro areas. Each metro area BBB schedules the Baby Bottles Campaigns, helps with the Campaign logistics, acts as the depository for the donations and is the administrator of those funds. The administration of the regional BBBs is performed by a board authorized by the Missouri State Council Knights of Columbus. The members of the regional boards are elected by each BBB member councils. The BBB is an on-going charitable crusade and will operate annually until its goals are achieved. For further information regarding which councils are authorized to join the respective BBBs – see the FAQ below which discusses boundaries.

What is a Baby Bottle Campaign – (“BBC” or “Campaign”)?

A Baby Bottle Campaign is a fund-raising event designed to capitalize the Baby Bottle Brigade. BBC’s are either: 1) parish level events staged by local KofC councils or; 2) events held at nonKofC council parishes, high schools, campus ministries, teen organizations or other Pro-life, Catholic-friendly entities all of which will require KofC sponsorship. Of course, the primary method of fund-raising will be donations via baby bottles. The Campaign is similar to a Rice Bowl or UNICEF campaign. Bottle donors will be asked to fill them with spare change, paper money or checks and then return them to a designated collection spot. On-line donations are possible at the BBB’s web site – www.BBBstlKofC.com. Checks will be made to the specific BBC which is staging the event. During the Campaign all funds will be held in a “pass-through” account maintained by the staging council or the sponsoring council (if not a council parish). At the completion of the Campaign all collected funds will be remitted – via check – to the specific Baby Bottle Brigade (i.e. St. Louis or Kansas City). If there are expenses from Campaign – an itemized invoice should be submitted to the appropriate sponsoring BBB for reimbursement (campaign costs must not be reimbursed from the BBC pass-through account).

Since the status of the Knights of Columbus as a 501(c)(8) Fraternal Benefit Society under the Internal Revenue Code means that contributions to it are generally not deductible by the donor. There is a limited exception to this rule known as “pass-through charitable fund-raising”. Hence the requirement to open a “pass-through” bank account. Interested parties can find additional information on the need for the use of “pass-through accounts” on the Knights of Columbus web site at: http://www.kofc.org/un/en/prolife/ultrasound/faq.html Baby Bottles will be supplied by the BBB to each Campaign. There is a fee for any unreturned or lost Bottles. A deposit will be required when a BBC is staged by a council who is a member of a BBB. Local councils – within boundaries defined by the Missouri State Deputy – can join the Baby Bottle Brigade and schedule a campaign by completing and signing a Baby Bottle Brigade Registration Request (“RR”). A copy of the RR form is available at the BBB web site.

What should be the length of a Baby Bottle Campaign?

To date, the majority of the BBC’s have chosen to establish an “official” 6-weekend Campaign, or, basically, the equivalent of a five (5) week time-period. However, since collecting the Bottles is a stubborn process, the Brigade recommends each Campaign automatically announce a 2- week extension on the last official weekend. We’ve dubbed this interval the “All-In” period. The Brigade has a “Wanted” poster it will provide you in order to help solicit the return of Bottles. Even using the All-In period, it’s doubtful all the bottles will be returned on time. You’ll find posted – on the web site – a list of Baby Bottle Campaign return suggestions. For your information, the article entitled “Tips for Increasing Baby Bottle Returns” was written by the Bottle distributor. NOTE: As your councils and parishes consider the best dates during which to stage your Campaign, keep in mind the grade school and PSR calendars. Should you decide to follow the suggestions listed above, your Campaign will run for eight (8) weekends. This means that as the school years moves toward a close, you’ll need to begin the Campaign around the first of April.

And, since you may need a month of pre-Campaign prep work, it will be hard to begin the Campaign process much later than March 1st – unless the school is out in June. So, if you are running up against the school year consideration – a solid suggestion is to consider planning your Campaigns for a launch in early September or later in the Fall. We consider the students to be an extremely important factor in the Baby Bottle Campaigns since it provides an excellent opportunity to raise their Pro-Life awareness.

Does either Baby Bottle Brigade have a web site?

No. The web sites are under construction. Until they are posted – all information will be maintained at the Incarnate Word Knights of Columbus web site – www.IWknights.com. Information can be found – at the top of the home page – under the dropdown link entitled: “Baby Bottle Brigade”. The Brigade is in the process of building a stand-alone web site.

What is the primary mission of the Baby Bottle Brigade?

The primary mission of each BBB is to eliminate abortions within the State of Missouri and any border states which attract Missouri residents to abortion performing clinics or satellite referral clinics within that state. Each metro area BBB will decide on a strategy to accomplish the aforementioned mission. However, a strong “ground game” is essential in all cases. This entails the deployment of mobile medical centers equipped with ultrasound technology and certified sonographers. A significant contingent of prayerful volunteers plus trained technicians and counselors will be located in front of all clinics during the hours the clinic is open for business. The St. Louis Baby Bottle Brigade intend to use the “little trinity” strategy to help accomplish this primary mission.

Is the Baby Bottle Brigade a stand-alone entity or owned by KofC councils?

The Baby Bottle Brigade is part of the Missouri Knights of Columbus Meet Life Campaign. It is a cooperative effort among the regional KofC councils within boundaries set by the Missouri State Deputy. The BBB is administered by Knights of Columbus who are local council members.

What is the current policy regarding the rental Baby Bottles by BBC’s?

The Baby Bottle Brigade will “rent” the baby bottles to all Baby Bottle Campaigns. The basic theory of the rental plan is the idea that the Brigade should bear the cost of the containers to collect the funds which are donated during the Campaigns. However, the Campaigns should bear the responsibility of collecting the baby bottles. Lost or unreturned baby bottles will be paid for by each Council. In the event a Campaign is being staged by a Knight Council, the bottles can be ordered by using the StL-BBB Registration Request. Each member council will need to submit a rental deposit check in the amount equal of 25% of the cost of the rented bottles. At this time (12/11) that cost is $1.22 per bottle. The deposit check should be made out to: St. Louis Area Baby Bottle Brigade. Should the amount of the rented baby bottles exceed 75% of those delivered to the council will receive a refund (at the cost per bottle times the number of bottles which exceed 75% of the delivered bottles). If the returns are less than 75% of the delivered bottles, the council will:

  • forfeit the rental deposit, and;
  • be invoiced for those missing or un-returned bottles in excess of the 25% total. In the event a Campaign is being sponsored by a Knight Council(s), the bottles can also be ordered by using a StL-BBB Registration Request. This type of an event might be cosponsored by a Knight Council and either a high school or a Pro-Life organization. In this case, if the BBB approves the event, the bottles will usually be provided by the BBB without a deposit. This policy is subject to a case-by-case review.

What is the reason for the Baby Bottle Brigade – Registration Request?

This document is a management tool designed to help the Brigade schedule the numerous Campaigns and provide the necessary Baby Bottles throughout the year. The Reservation Request is a document between the Brigade and a council which proposes to stage or sponsor a Campaign. The RR document itemizes the following items although this not a full list:

  • the council intends to stage or sponsor a Baby Bottle Campaign;
  • the Brigade will provide the Campaign with Baby Bottles with a specific return policy;
  • the council will provide a list of proposed dates on which to operate the Campaign;
  • the Campaign agrees to repay the Brigade for unreturned or lost bottles;
  • the Campaign with donate the funds to the Brigade at the end of its event;
  • the Brigade will provide a list of its current charitable contribution goals;
  • the Brigade will provide the Campaign a list of Best Practices for running an event;
  • the Brigade will help Campaign with Bottle Distribution Day logistics;
  • the Brigade will provide a video, graphics, web site and social media for help with on-line donations.

Where can we obtain a copy of the Registration Request?

Until the Brigade web site is placed on line, copies of this “RR” can be downloaded at www.IWknights.com – see the drop-down tab on the top left of the home page. Return Completed Registration Requests and Bottle Deposit Checks to:

Baby Bottle Brigade of Greater StL – (NOTE – use this name as payee on check)
c/o of IW Knights #9981
13416 Olive Blvd.
Chesterfield, MO 63017

Who are the current members of the Baby Bottle Brigade?

The Incarnate Word Knights of Columbus Council #9981 of Chesterfield, Missouri is the founder of the Baby Bottle Brigade. The pastor of Incarnate Word parish, Fr. Timothy Vowels, approved the initial Baby Bottle Campaign in the spring of 2011. The IW Knights then staged the Incarnate Word Baby Bottle Campaign during the months of September and October 2011. That Campaign was planned as a pilot campaign for the much larger effort – the Baby Bottle Brigade. The story about this plan was written by Jennifer Brinker of the St. Louis Review and it appeared in that newspaper on August 19, 2011. The story is available on-line at: http://iwknights.com/wp-content/themes/IWKnights2011/images/StLreviewBBB.pdf.

Has the Baby Bottle Brigade actually been launched and how is it managed?

The IW Baby Bottle Campaign was a financial and logistical success. The funds collected during the IW Campaign were donated to the St. Louis metro area Knights of Columbus Baby Bottle Brigade. Those funds were used to:

  1. make a matching donation to Columbian Charities of Missouri for a laptop ultrasound machine and gifted to ThriVe of St. Louis, Inc.;
  2. a $10,000 contribution toward the purchase of a second Mobile Medical Center for ThriVe of St. Louis;
  3. production of a Baby Bottle Brigade video, web site and graphics to be used in the promotion of the Brigade throughout the state and for the Brigades coordinated on-line fund-raising efforts;
  4. the purchase of the first order of Baby Bottles to be used during Campaigns staged or sponsored by the Brigade members. The St. Louis and Kansas City Baby Bottle Brigades are to be managed by separate boards to be appointed by the Missouri State Deputy. Both will report to the Meet Life Campaign board.

How will the Baby Bottle Campaign attack the problem of abortions performed in Illinois and Kansas?

The Baby Bottle Brigades intend to engage the Knights in both Illinois and Kansas – especially those within the Greater St. Louis and Kansas City areas. We will encourage them to form their own versions of the Baby Bottle Brigade. The Missouri Brigades hope to coordinate Pro-life efforts on both sides each of metro area. What is the Missouri Pregnancy Resource Center tax credit? By contributing to a qualified pregnancy resource center, Missouri taxpayers can:

  1. help fund services for women with unplanned or crisis pregnancies; and,
  2. earn a state tax credit. For contributions made before July 1, 2012, the tax credit is available to qualified state taxpayers with a $100 minimum contribution, which is eligible for a 50% tax-credit. Donors can claim up to a $50,000 credit per tax year. Tax credits unused in the current year are eligible for a four (4) year carry forward. For more information on the program see: http://www.dss.mo.gov/dfas/taxcredit/pregnancy.htm

Can the Baby Bottle Brigade use the MO PRC tax credit?

The simple answer is no. The Brigade should have no income to report to the State of Missouri. However, when the Brigade donates money to a qualified Pregnancy Resource Center within the State of Missouri, it can apply for a Tax Credit. If the Department of Social Services still has tax credits available under the PRC program, for the applicable year, the Brigade will receive the credits. Then, since the legislation authorizes the sale of tax credits to third-parties, (such a sale must yield at least 75% of the amount of the tax credit) then the Brigade will have earned additional funds for its Pro-Life activities. EXAMPLE: Step one: Baby Bottle Campaign raises $25,000 in funds and donates the entire amount to a qualified Pregnancy Resource Center – as approved by the State of Missouri. Step two: Baby Bottle Campaign determines that:

  1. $10,000 of the donation to the PRC (which were made by check and exceeds the required $100. threshold donation necessary to be eligible to claim the tax credit) are not included in a Brigade PRC tax credit calculation;
  2. The remaining $15,000 (made mainly in cash – i.e. coins, paper money, or checks less than $100) represent the amount entered on the line on the PRC Application which states: Total Amount of Donation.
  3. The amount of the Tax Credit will be determined by multiplying the Total Amount Donated times 50% or in this case $7,500.
  4. To monetize the $7,500 into funds available for Pro-Life activities the Brigade will attempt to sell the Tax Credit for 75% or more of its face value or $5625.
  5. The Brigade must provide bills/invoices to the PRC to document that the expenses were necessary to further the fundraising activities of the Baby Bottle Campaign.

Explain the little trinity strategy?

In the St. Louis region, the Knights of Columbus strategy is to create the little trinity describes the partnership of three primary organizations. This group is raising capital and providing manpower to execute the goals of the BBB’s primary mission. First, the Knights of Columbus are raising the funds via the efforts of their Baby Bottle Brigade activities to provide assets and operating funds to create a “ground game” defense for life around all the abortion clinics in the region. Second, ThriVe of St. Louis, Inc. – a pregnancy resource center – is stationing a Mobile Medical Center near the abortion center and manning the vehicle with trained counselors and ultrasound equipment and trained staff. Third, 40 Days for Life is supported by the Coalition for Life of St. Louis.

They are organizing prayerful volunteers, training and stationing sidewalk counselors in front of the clinics. So, essentially, the little trinity strategy is about local Knights of Columbus councils annually raising funds for the Baby Bottle Brigade via Baby Bottle Campaigns. With an annual flow of donations, the Brigade can supply ultrasound equipment, mobile medical vans and other assets along with operating funds to permit Thrive and 40 Days for Life to use the magic the ultrasound, prayer and counseling on the ground in front of the Planned Parenthood Clinic on Forest Park Blvd at all times the Clinic is open. Additionally, the same elements of the strategy will be used to deploy assets and people in front of the satellite clinics.

Who are the Knights of Columbus?

The Knights of Columbus is the world’s largest Catholic family fraternal service organization. The Order has grown from several members in one council (at its founding in 1882 at St. Mary’s Church in New Haven, CT) to more than 14,000 councils and 1.8 million members throughout the United States, Canada, the Philippines, Mexico, Poland, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Panama, the Bahamas, the Virgin Islands, Cuba, Guatemala, Guam and Saipan. The Knights of Columbus international headquarters is located in New Haven, Connecticut. Led by the Supreme Knight, the chief executive officer of the Knights, the office provides administrative support and leadership for the local units or “councils”. Local councils are the basic unit of the Knights. Most are based in parishes, though some have their own council hall within a community. Each local council works to assist with the needs of its community consistent with the principles of the Order. Our principals are Charity, Unity, Fraternity and Patriotism.

Last year alone (2010), in addition to raising and donating more than $154 million to charitable needs and projects, Knights volunteered more than 70 million hours of their time to charitable causes. The Supreme Council has more than 75 state council organizations to help guide regional activities that are consistent with the principles of the Order. The Order has been called “the strong right arm of the Church,” and has been praised by popes, presidents and other world leaders, for support of the Church, programs of evangelization and Catholic education, civic involvement and aid to those in need. For more information see the Order’s web site: http://www.kofc.org/un/en/about/index.html .

Who are the leaders of the Knights of Columbus?

The order’s Supreme Knight is Carl A. Anderson. The State Deputy of Missouri is John Appelbaum.

Does a Baby Bottle Campaign need to be sponsored by KofC Council?

Yes. The Missouri State Council requires the participating Knights of Columbus councils be located within the boundaries described above.

What is the Ultrasound Initiative?

On January 22, 2009, the 36th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion on demand, the Knights of Columbus launched a new initiative aimed at providing women considering abortion a new way of viewing the life within them. When a state council/local council campaign raises one-half of the cost of purchasing an ultrasound machine for a pro-life pregnancy help center, the Supreme Council will match the other half of the machine’s cost. Both the Meet Life Campaign and the Baby Bottle Brigade take advantage of this generous program.

What is the Meet Life Campaign?

The “Meet Life” campaign began in July of 2011. The goal of the campaign is to reduce by one half the number of abortions in Missouri by the year-end 2016. The Baby Bottle Brigades are part of the Meet Life Campaign. In his Meet Life announcement, the State Deputy asked each KofC council in the state to pledge $50 per member – over a 5-year period – to fund the program. Contributions by a Baby Bottle Campaign to the Baby Bottle Brigade will satisfy a council’s pledge on a dollar for dollar basis. It is a collaborative effort with Knights of Columbus Supreme Council’s Ultrasound Initiative. The Supreme Council will provide one-half of the cost of each ultrasound machine purchased for qualifying Pregnancy Resource Centers (PRC) across the country. Missouri Knights are working with local PRC’s to provide the other half of the funding for the ultrasound machines as well as training for staff. “Meet Life” will also look for ways to place Pregnancy Resource Centers in those parts of the State not currently served in order to be accessible to as many women as possible.

This Knight’s initiative will utilize the experience of Vitae Foundation to create a multimedia campaign to their message out. Since 1992 Vitae has been marketing the value of life. Vitae’s research based messages help promote the life affirming services which Pregnancy Resource Centers provide to women in unplanned pregnancies, and the community. In His Image Ultrasound is also providing assistance with this campaign. IHI is a national outreach founded to assist the Knights of Columbus Councils and Pregnancy Resource Centers in facilitating the placement of ultrasound machines. The ultrasound machine gives a competitive edge to the Pregnancy Resource Centers giving pregnant women the opportunity to see their baby’s development in utero.

Who is Columbian Charities of Missouri?

This is a 501(c)(3) charity operated by the Missouri Knights of Columbus. Donations under the Meet Life campaign or Baby Bottle Brigade made to this charity are tax deductible. How can a Pregnancy Resource Center qualify under the Ultrasound Initiative? The center must meet the faith, medical, insurance and fundraising components of the program. The PRC does not need to be a Catholic institution, but must not engage in anti-Catholic proselytism (i.e., it does not attempt to lead Catholic women away from the Catholic faith). Some pregnancy centers have Statements of Faith that are inconsistent with Catholic teaching. The pregnancy center’s Statement of Faith must be included in the documents submitted to the Supreme Council office for review and approval. More information found at: http://www.kofc.org/un/en/prolife/ultrasound/guidelines.html.

Is the Baby Bottle Brigade a 501(c)(3) charitable organization?

No, the BBB is not a 501(c)(3) at this time. However, all funds raised are remitted to a 501(c)(3) charitable organization by the BBB.

Who is eligible to a member of the Baby Bottle Brigade?

Any Knights of Columbus council located within the boundaries established by the Missouri State Deputy is eligible to be a member of the BBB. One BBB is located within the St. Louis regional area and the other will be formed within the Kansas City regional area. The boundaries of each the BBBs are listed below. .

What are the boundaries of the St. Louis and Kansas City Baby Bottle Brigades?

All Knights of Columbus councils – within counties included in the metro area of Greater St. Louis and Greater Kansas City, Missouri or councils within the metro areas of cities with satellite clinics which are owned or represent Planned Parenthood or any other entity performing abortion services within the state of Missouri – are included within boundaries of the respective Baby Bottle Brigades. The Greater St. Louis metro area includes the city of St. Louis and the counties of St. Louis, St. Charles, Jefferson, Franklin, Lincoln, Warren, Washington, and St. Francois

The Greater Kansas City/St. Joseph metro area includes the counties of: Jackson, Clay, Platte, Cass, Johnson, Ray, Bates, Caldwell, Lafayette, Clinton, Johnson and Buchanan. The boundaries have yet to be established for the outstate clinics in Columbia, Springfield and Joplin. For those councils outside these boundaries, requests to join the Brigades must be made in writing to the State Deputy.