Over 20,000 babies have been saved through the efforts of the Several Sources Shelters since Founder Kathy DiFiore took into her own home her first pregnant teenager in 1981. Kathy says that Several Sources Shelters started with the Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi, "Make me a channel of Your Peace. Where there is darkness let me sow light. Where there is sadness let me bring joy."
Peace was difficult to find in 1984 when, after having housed young pregnant women free of charge in her own home, Kathy was fined $10,000 by the state of New Jersey for running an illegal boarding house. Her story appeared in newspapers, along with numerous television news programs. State Senator Gerald Cardinale sponsored a bill exempting non-profit groups from the legislation.
When final approval seemed impossible, Kathy was inspired to contact Mother Teresa of Calcutta. The Nobel Peace Prize Winner happened to be in New York to accept an award at the United Nations and, coincidentally, the topic of her speech was the rights of the preborn. Mother Teresa wrote a letter of support, which convinced those opposed to the legislation to change their minds. The fine was removed and Kathy's work became legal.
Kathy soon found out that she wasn't the only one worrying about teen mothers. After hearing about her struggles, a CPA and lawyer, Richard Ryan, took up her cause and offered his N.J. Shore summer home so she could take in more mothers. Mr. Ryan became Treasurer of the Foundation and decided to sell his house in Sea Isle City and in 1989 he donated the proceeds as a down payment for a second home in Ramsey, New Jersey.
In 1990, Monsignor Thomas McCarthy and the parishioners of Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish in Washington Township, New Jersey, offered their Convent as the Foundation's third shelter.
Also in 1990, one inner city foster mother said to Kathy "Why is there so much month left at the end of the milk?" From this comment, the Special Families project was started with five families. Now there are 63 families, representing 163 children ranging in ages from newborn to 18 years old, who are provided with food gift certificates, medical and school supplies, gifts at Christmas and other support to help them get through difficult times.
In 1993, our memorial "Garden of Life" in Ramsey, New Jersey, was dedicated to help ease the turmoil and the fear of an unplanned pregnancy. Among the flowers are beautiful photographs of babies. As loved ones are remembered, lives are being saved. When our young women walk the grounds, they are often heard to say: "You people really make me feel special. This is the first time since I found out that I was pregnant, that I can feel that someone cares."
In 1994, A benefactor family in Mendham, New Jersey, donated a home in loving memory and honor of their parents.
In 1997, Several Sources opened their fifth Shelter called "Ladies Rest" in Newark, New Jersey. Three businessmen had pledged to pay the rent for the first three years. Several Sources had to raise the operating expenses. Now, there is a daytime shelter that serves hundreds of women of all ages each year. In 2012, "Ladies Rest" became "Ladies and Babies Rest" to reflect its expanded mission of helping women and needy children of all ages.
In June of 1999, Several Sources Shelters became a Non Governmental Organization (NGO) of the United Nations with Special Status. NGO's participate in the work of the United Nations and are able to be part of the legislative process through conference participation and new issues raised by NGO's in public sessions at the United Nations. In partnership with the United Nations Women's Guild, Several Sources has helped needy children throughout the world, including one of our benefactors sponsoring a trip to Washington, D.C. for 8 children who suffered from radioactive contamination of the Chernobyl Nuclear accident. Other benefactors began sponsoring a young woman who was originally from Uganda and studying to become a doctor. She become pregnant and found Several Sources on the Internet. A benefactor decided to help her and her "saved" baby, Katrina, born 3-28-2012. Katrina's mother has opened the first, small, Several Sources Crisis Pregnancy Center in the Ukraine and has counseled four pregnant women. Two have given birth and two are scheduled to give birth later in 2012. "No one was willing to help me. I was all alone in a foreign land. I spent days and days searching around the entire world and then I found Several Sources!... so, now I have my precious baby girl and my education to complete and I'm helping others who needed help like me.", comments our young pre-med student in the Ukraine. The Internet is a great resource to help women all over the world. We have counseled women from Poland to the Philippines to Australia.
In 2000, we found that over 800,000 visitors came to our websites and more than 35,000 spent 15 minutes or more learning and participating in them. There is no doubt that youth love the internet and computers. Therefore, Several Sources has created an interactive CD ROM and a website called "The Choice Game™" as a further aid to teach the merits of abstinence. The game places the players in real life situations where they must choose who they wish to date and what they will do on that date. The player can learn critical life skills in a safe environment. The game is currently being taught even in our own Several Sources Shelters to our mothers and, in 2012, samples covering the topics of STDs and Teen Pregnancy will be mailed to over 2,000 Crisis Pregnancy Centers and other shelters for young pregnant women throughout the United States.
One of our benefactors and his brother reviewed our mission and decided in 2011 to begin a scholarship program for our mothers. Currently four mothers are enrolled. Three are in a Medical Assistant Program and one is in an online program in Counseling at the University of Chicago. All are scheduled to complete their educational programs in 2012. Education is the key to a solid foundation for our mothers. Our benefactors have asked us to try to expand these efforts for our young mothers in the future.
Additionally, twice each month we teach Bible Study and Holy Chastity. Our goal is to help the young mothers change their lifestyles so that in the future they will have an education, good parenting skills, God's Holy word in their lives and help them to build the best lives possible for themselves and their children. visit www.lifecall.org
Our www.lifecall.org website has been updated in 2012 to include over 550 Shelters and 1,600 Crisis Pregnancy Centers by state in the United States. Research was conducted by our Housemothers to include as many email addresses and websites on this listing to assist those who are seeking pregnancy support.
In the fall of 2012, we opened a pregnancy clinic offering FREE and private ultrasounds using state-of-the-art equipment. We have been privileged to save many babies and help their mothers find a future through our "Gift of Hope Women's Health Center".
The work of Several Sources Shelters continues 24 hours a day. Several Sources is, in many ways, like an on going resource and Emergency Room for God's most venerable and most needy. Without the support of caring donors we could not continue our life saving work. Please, if you are able to donate, consider doing so because you would be extending your support to those who have no where else to turn.