PDA

View Full Version : Sometimes the good guys win



Wally_in_Cincy
12-08-2004, 06:37 AM
Dec. 8, 2004, 1:17AM

A woman who buries abandoned babies had played California lottery just twice before
By GILLIAN FLACCUS

Associated Press

LOS ANGELES - All too often, the ring of Debi Faris-Cifelli's cell phone means there is another abandoned newborn at the morgue, another forsaken child for her to name and bury in a shoebox-size coffin under a white cross in the California desert.

Last week, though, Faris-Cifelli who has had to rely on donations, grants and fund-raisers to give babies a decent burial got a very different call. She had won the California lottery.

The jackpot: $27 million.

It was only the third time she and her husband had played the lottery.

'Thank you'

"Maybe it's the children saying, 'Thank you' for taking care of them when nobody else would," Faris-Cifelli said, bubbling with laughter. "It's a gift, and one for which we feel an awesome responsibility."

The money could not come at a better time for Faris-Cifelli and her Garden of Angels, the tiny cemetery in the town of Calimesa where she has buried dozens of tiny children whose mothers didn't hear or didn't care about California's safe-haven law.
Under the 2001 law, parents have three days to abandon infants without fear of prosecution. California is one of 46 states with such a law.

Faris-Cifelli helped win passage of the law and has made it her life's work to spread the word that scared and confused parents should drop their newborns at firehouses and hospitals not in trash cans and alleys. She lobbies in states without such laws, talks to teens and police and has attended 12 trials of mothers accused of abandoning their infants. She also lays the dead to rest.

Faris-Cifelli, 49, does all that with just a three-person staff and $172,000 annual budget covered by donations, grants, car washes and bake sales.

Now the deeply religious mother and her high school counselor husband, Steve, will receive an after-tax lump sum of nearly $9 million. Some of the winnings will go to the couple's seven children, most to her crusade.

Safe-haven law
Since the safe-haven law went into effect four years ago, only 67 babies have been safely surrendered in California. Faris-Cifelli has buried 70 babies since she began in 1996. Since the law was enacted, she has buried fewer each year though no one knows how many have died.

When someone finds a dead baby in a three-county area around Los Angeles, the morgue knows to call Faris-Cifelli. Faris-Cifelli goes into the autopsy room alone, where she wraps each infant in a homemade quilt, cradles it and prays over it. She gives each baby a first name that is engraved on the cross. At the gravesite, she releases dozens of doves under the shade of a mulberry tree.

"If the little kids up there are dancing in heaven and are happy for us, then that's the way it should be," Steve Cifelli said. "They're saying, 'We want you to do more,' and we're going to do it."

<font color="blue">I don't know what to say

Merry Christmas </font color>

Deeman2
12-08-2004, 07:16 AM
Sorta makes up for that idiot in West Virginia winning. Sometimes life gets it right.

Deeman

hondo
12-08-2004, 07:32 AM
Hey! If he hadn't won, there'd be a lot of
starving prostitutes in West Virginia.


<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Deeman2:</font><hr> Sorta makes up for that idiot in West Virginia winning. Sometimes life gets it right.

Deeman <hr /></blockquote>

PQQLK9
12-08-2004, 07:36 AM
nice story

nAz
12-08-2004, 08:49 AM
This is another reason why Abortion before the first Tri-mester should stay legal.

Wally_in_Cincy
12-08-2004, 09:59 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote nAz:</font><hr> This is another reason why Abortion before the first Tri-mester should stay legal. <hr /></blockquote>

Maybe I'm missing something. How does that relate?

dg-in-centralpa
12-08-2004, 06:06 PM
I read this in the morning paper and was happy for this woman. Hopefully she'll continue to do good.

DG

Ross
12-08-2004, 06:20 PM
Wally, I saw that story as well and was touched by it. She sounds like an amazing person.