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Siena House Maternity Home Newsletter

December 2011

Aloha Siena!

Siena House's Hawaiian-themed dinner auction was held in October. The delicious dinner, catered by Hula's Island Grill, was served to our guests by our friends from Christians in Commerce. The Knights of Columbus and Italian Catholic Federation also assisted in making the night a success. Music was provided by The Island Breeze Band. A live auction, silent auction and raffle were held, with Father Joe Occhiuto from Holy Cross Church winning the iPad 2 in the raffle drawing. Two of Siena House's current residents, Dabney and Miryam, told their personal stories and credited Siena House's support in helping them to reach goals once unimagined. Thank you to all of our volunteers who helped make the auction a success. A special thank you to Siena Guild members Emily Watson, Michelle McDaniel and Ann Cogliati. Thank you also to everyone who attended our event. We appreciate your participation and support.

Meet Iris:

My name is Iris Kirk and I am honored to be one of the volunteers at Siena House. I have met a lot of wonderful moms along with their beautiful babies in the four years that I have been doing this and I can honestly say that I regard all of these moms, babies and staff as my extended family. Each and everyone have a very special place in my heart. It brings me great joy to watch these ladies become great moms and mentors to each other. I pray that I will continue to be a part of this family for years to come. Thank you for allowing me to be such a small part of this beautiful tapestry that God is weaving together at Siena House. Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year to all the board members, staff, moms and babies, and to all the other volunteers.

Board of Directors Wayne Shaffer, President James Duffy, Esq., Chairperson Margie Haas, Secretary Elaine Aldrich Jerome Deck, M. D. Donna Miller Mike Watson Ranell Durgan Staff Sharron Rudell, Director Hillary Jones, House Manager Peggy Kier, Office Manager Support Staff Christa Ward Kayla Nerton Heidi Ledesma Charisse Iglesias

What Being A Good Parent Means to Me . . . .

. . . . providing for my child emotionally, financially and physically. It means keeping them safe and healthy. It is making sure they trust me and can depend on me. It is giving them love with boundaries. My hope is that I can use all the things I have learned at Siena House to be the best parent I can be. My faith is in God, that He will always lead me in the right direction and provide strength for my family. -Dabney

. . . . someone who always shows love. Someone who can say no even when it's hard; someone who can teach a child what's healthy and unhealthy; someone who can be open to the different opinions a child might have. A good parent is someone who is willing to learn new things and grow every day. -Maria . . . providing for all of their child's needs...but not necessarily all of their wants. A good parent tries the best they can, although they may make mistakes. It is what the parent puts in that is important, not the end result. A good parent should teach their child right from wrong, to live in a positive mind set, to never give up if you are passionate about something. A good parent teaches their child to be kind, gentle and considerate, not only to their fellow man, but to the earth that provides their home. A good parent helps a child learn gratitude. And greatest of all, a good parent teaches their child to love and respect him/herself and to treat others as they would like to be treated. My faith is the universe always provides, although in ways often unexpected. My hope is to have a united family of my own, full of love. ­Jessica S.

. . . . talking with your child about important topics. It means supporting your child and showing them love. A good parent listens to their child and is patient and captures every moment. -Jackie

. . . . making your kids happy and healthy. It means being with them and enjoying them. It means teaching them that we all make mistakes and that it is OK and that we can learn from our mistakes. My hope is that my kids grow into very happy and secure people. -Miryam

. . . . teaching children about God and prayer, to encourage education and exercise and healthy eating. It is to play with your child and to smile and tell them "I love you". It is to trust and respect them so that they will learn to trust and respect others. It is being present physically and emotionally and providing them with a healthy safe space in which to grow. -Jessica G.

. . . . accepting your child for who they are. A good parent loves their child unconditionally and is compassionate, hopeful, kind, and a good influence in their life. A good parent is respectful and believes in their child's success. I put my faith in Jesus Christ. I hope my daughter thinks I am a good parent. I have faith that God is giving me a better chance at motherhood, an opportunity to be a good mother. -Crystal

. . . . falling in love the first time you lay your eyes on your baby. Cherishing every smile you see. Every time you hear your baby cry, your heart cries. All you want to do is comfort and protect her. You do your best to keep her healthy. When she is sick, you worry. You miss her when she is not with you and you think about her a lot. You want her to learn and thrive and be happy. You hope her future is bright and whatever she does, she is happy. When my daughter ventures out into the world on her own, I will pray for God to look after her. -Aimee



Siena House Board President Wayne Shaffer was one of five winners chosen by the National Association of Realtors as Realtor Magazine's 2011 Good Neighbor Award winners. He was awarded a $10,000 grant for his charities and a $2,000 Lowe's gift card. The Good Neighbor Awards program acknowledges realtors who make extraordinary commitments to community service. Those chosen are dedicated to lifting and empowering others. Wayne was chosen for his devotion to Siena House, St. Francis Catholic Kitchen and Jesus, Mary and Joseph Home. The Siena House residents, staff, and board of directors are all very proud of Wayne.

Wayne Shaffer on the cover of Realtor magazine. To see a video of Wayne's story go to

Congratulations Miryam!

One of our residents, Miryam, recently received her Certificate of General Educational Development (GED). Thank you to our volunteer Sarah (Sally) Ray for tutoring Miryam. Thank you also to Sue Della Santina for babysitting, which allowed Miryam to study and take her tests. Miryam worked very hard to achieve this goal, and Siena House is extremely proud of her.

Consider signing up to give a monthly donation to Siena House. All we need is your name, credit card number, expiration date of card and the amount you would like to donate monthly. Call 425-BABY for more information.

Siena House Needs: Toilet Paper/Paper Towels Baby Tylenol Nursing Bras (New) Diaper Bags Diapers (newborn, 1 & 2) Baby Wipes Baby Toiletries (Soap, Shampoo) Grooming Kits for Babies Soothies (Pacifiers) Nursing Pads

Sue Della Santina, Miryam, Hilary Ciello and Sarah (Sally) Ray

The printing of this newsletter is through the generosity of Shaffer and Associates, a Real Estate Agency at (831)332-1084.


108 High Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95060


Return service requested You can now make donations through our website:

Dear Siena House Community, The gift of a child is a blessing indeed! New life always touches us and makes us smile. As our Christmas story reveals, God enters our world as an infant, the way we all do. So every time a child is born, we have the opportunity to remember this. All children have parents, both biologically and by adoption. As Siena House residents have written, being a parent gives us the opportunity to experience what love is, and what we will do for love's sake. It provides us with the opportunity to participate in the constant care of another. In the feeding, sheltering, washing, and teaching of our children, we can come to understand how it is that God loves us. As our annual celebration of Christmas does, the birth of a child allows us to remember and rededicate ourselves to this most essential relationship. In loving we bless each other, one life at a time. Recently I read that "When hearts are freed in love, the power and mercy of the Lord are unleashed upon the world in a new way, and the reach of that grace is immeasurable." At Siena House we are the fortunate witnesses of this truth daily. Thank you for joining with us in "loving life into the world, one heart at a time." Thank you for your gifts of time, financial support and advocacy. Thank you for your prayers. May the love that is Christmas renew you every day of the new year. Peace be with you. Sharron Rudell


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