TRUTH BOOTH TAKES MESSAGE TO MALL
Mike Nuzzi got the idea for the Truth Booth three years ago, while he was taking a shower.
A dedicated pro-lifer, Mike was mulling over the problem of how to reach out to young people and influence their thoughts on abortion before, as he put it, “they are sweating bullets.
“I’m a fisherman,” he explains. “Fishermen figure out where the fish are.”
Where could these young “fish” be found, he wondered. Then it hit him: at the mall! Shopping for clothes, walking around, hanging out, socializing.
Mike’s wife, Maureen (“She’s the bold one”) contacted the Echelon Mall in Vorhees, the closest mall to the Nuzzis’ Atco, N.J., home.
“I thought they would never agree to it, but they did, right away,” says Mike.
“It” was the first ever “Truth Booth,” a kiosk in the center of the mall, near some women’s clothing stores, with two 19-inch TVs constantly playing 3D and 4D ultrasound DVDs showing healthy babies in the womb.
The Nuzzis use a 4D clip from General Electric, along with Shari Richard’s ultrasound images of babies in the womb.
“A mall department store practically gave us the two TVs and DVD player,” for $250, says Mike.
The accompanying sound tracks consist of music or Richard’s commentary (“Here’s a baby at 8 months; look how he jumps!”).
No money is solicited. Nothing is sold.
There is, however, literature available on where to get an ultrasound, how ultrasounds work, help available at area crisis pregnancy centers, and post-abortion help.
Because the mall wanted to avoid controversy, “We had to white out the word ‘abortion’ in the brochures,” says Maureen.
Maureen set up flowers at the four corners of the kiosk “to make it attractive.” She has also provided a journal in which passersby may write comments.
The comments have been 98 percent favorable, says Mike: “A frequent comment is, ‘I wish we had this in our mall!”
Malls are open seven days a week, and at first, the mall management wanted someone at the kiosk all the time, to prevent vandalism. The Nuzzis eventually got them to agree to having someone there at opening and closing times, and there has been no vandalism.
The first people to volunteer were from the local Helpers of God’s Precious Infants group, of which Maureen is a member. Later, volunteers, mostly high schoolers, have come from St. Joseph’s Church in Hammonton, which is within walking distance of the mall.
There is a bench near the kiosk, and volunteers may stay longer to be available for questions if they want to.
But they are instructed not to engage in any controversial discussions or arguments with mall goers; “just point to the TV” and let the babies’ images do the talking, says Mike.
The Nuzzis have operated the Truth Booth during the prime shopping seasons: in the spring, the fall, and at Christmas.
They pay $700 a month to rent the kiosk, plus $75 a month for insurance.
The cost came out of their own pockets during the first four months, but since then, generous donors have stepped forward, including a local Knights of Columbus chapter.
The Nuzzis have been active in the pro-life movement ever since they were married, 23 years ago. Mike got arrested when he took part in Operation Rescue, and Maureen has had a number of saves as a sidewalk counselor with Helpers of God’s Precious Infants.
Mike, who has been a veterinarian for 34 years, sold his practice 1 ½ years ago to be able to devote his time fully to the pro-life cause.
He is sold on the 4D ultrasound images of the baby in the womb as a way to end abortion.
“This technology changes the whole battle; it’s completely on our side!” he exclaims.
“How can you argue with it? You’d have to be crazy to look at it and say that’s not a baby.”
Maureen agrees. “It’s an opportunity to bring the truth about life to people in a non-confrontational way.
“We’re providing an opportunity for young minds, and for older shoppers who have grown cold on this issue, to see that these are beautiful little human beings.”
The Nuzzis would love to see pro-lifers set up Truth Booths in other malls. They give a simple, step-by-step process for doing so on their website, www.truthbooth.org.