St. Gianna’s Place hosted our first spaghetti dinner fundraising event on October 28. It was a big success, and we are excited and humbled by the overwhelming support and generosity of the community. Thank you to everyone who donated, attended, and worked to make this event possible.
Below please see an article that further explains the evening and the mission of St. Gianna’s Place. It is written by Julie Huss and appeared in the Derry News and the Lawrence Eagle Tribune.
Organization Supports Women and their Babies
by Julie Huss, October 30, 2017
It’s named for an Italian woman who devoted herself to family and gave an ultimate sacrifice to save a child.
Gianna Beretta Molla of Milan, Italy, a mother, physician, and community advocate, died in 1961 at the age of 39 after making a heart-wrenching decision to save the life of her unborn child instead of her own.
Now a local organization, St. Gianna’s Place, is working to carry on the woman’s mission to be the voice of the unborn and support young mothers in need.
Molla was canonized a saint in 2004 in St. Peter’s Square by Pope John Paul II, and is known as the patron saint of the unborn, mothers and physicians.
St. Gianna’s Place began as a way to help those women who are facing pregnancy and needing support for themselves and their babies.
The group’s goal is to provide a temporary place of residence for pregnant mothers in need while offering food, clothing, shelter, spiritual, emotional, social and other forms of assistance.
Other support may include various services like educational resources, life skill counseling and job training.
The group hosted a fundraising dinner last Saturday night at St. Thomas Aquinas Center in Derry, a first big benefit to help the organization move forward.
St. Gianna’s Place board president Laura Gandia said it was Molla’s mission to protect her children, even if it meant giving her own life to do it.
“She chose the life of her child and she died,” Gandia said. “St. Gianna’s will be a safe home for mothers and their children.”
Gandia said the organization is rooted in strong core values like faith, love, service to others and community service. When the home is secured, she said mothers and their children will be cared for through a community network that involves many other organizations and service groups.
The organization is very new, Gandia said, and fundraising is going full steam ahead.
It is the St. Gianna’s Place goal to find a location in the Greater Derry/Londonderry area that could serve as a home for women in need, who are facing the birth of a child and need support and resources.
Gandia said women who would live at the home would stay after the baby is born for a time, would be assigned to a caseworker that would work with them to find the right life plan.
That could mean earning high school diplomas, finding a job, or just working with the mothers on how to raise children and be a good parent.
Gandia said women who choose to have their babies should be supported.
She credited all the supporters, businesses and others who have donated time, finances, and other support to help St. Gianna’s Place find that home for women.