Strengthen The Good

Using the power of weblogs for open-source charity. Don’t just fight evil: Strengthen the good.

Strengthening the Good: Debi Faris And The Garden Of Angels

12.7.04 Update: Seems good things do happen to good people … Debi’s won the lottery. Literally. To the tune of $27 million. Imagine what she’ll do with that? For those coming to this page for the first time as a result of the lottery-related media, we ask that you check out the main page for Strengthen The Good as well.

Good for you, Debi … and thanks for helping to strengthen the good!

~ Alan

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debi in garden.jpgWhen this micro-charity was first brought to my attention, I was only told “It’s a bittersweet thing–you’ll understand when you read it.”

And indeed it is. But if the object is to fight evil by strengthening the good, it’s hard to find a cause much more noble than this.

I was directed to the home page for Garden of Angels, where I read this passage:

In 1996, while I had one eye on dinner and the other on the evening news, I heard a story that would change my life. I stood frozen as I listened to the reporter’s account of the tragedy … a newborn baby boy had been stuffed into a duffel bag and tossed from a speeding car along a freeway. I couldn’t move, I just kept thinking about this child and wondering how we could have become a society that just throws their babies away as if they were a piece of trash.

I contacted the authorities and with the blessing of my family, I asked the Coroner’s office to release the baby to us for burial. While waiting for the investigation to end on this child, I learned that there was another newborn baby boy that had been found in a dumpster, and a little girl about two years of age, who was found washed up on a beach.

On August 26, 1996, we had our first burial service for the three children. They were given the names of Matthew, Nathan and Dora.

That is the beginning of the remarkable story of Debi Faris, who took that event as inspiration to form Garden of Angels, a charity that works to provide names and legal, honorable burials for abandoned newborns. Since Debi started her work with the burials of Matthew, Nathan and Dora, she and her charity have worked to provide the dignity of a proper burial to 68 abandoned infants.

But her work doesn’t stop there. Debi understood that her charity would be best if it was unnecessary, and she lobbied for passage of California’s Safe Arms for Newborns Law. From her site:

The ‘Safe Arms for Newborns’ law allows a parent to give up an unwanted infant with no fear of arrest or prosecution for abandonment as long as the baby has not been abused or neglected. The law does not require that names be given when the baby is surrendered. Parents are permitted to bring a newborn baby within 3 days of birth to any hospital emergency room or other designated safe haven in California.

The baby will be given medical treatment and placed in a foster or pre-adoptive home.

The law allows for a 14-day cooling off period, in case the parent may change their mind and work to reclaim their baby.

Since January 1, 2001 when the ’safe Arms for Newborns’ law went into effect, 59 newborn babies (as of July 2004) have been “safely surrendered” at hospitals within the state of California. This is a lifesaving law, but only if people know that it exists.

To this day Debi’s work continues with this two-pronged approach: providing dignified burials to infants when they’re found, and encouraging parents to avoid making that choice in the first place.

As you know, the intent of Strengthen The Good is to raise awareness of “micro charities”–charitable opportunities that are simple, personal, non-bureaucratic, and inspiring. Charitable opportunities where someone can feel great about giving $1, or even just from reading the story of the charity, it’s sponsors, and it’s beneficiaries.

Garden Of Angels is just such a charity, and we’re pleased to profile Debi Faris’ Garden of Angels as an example of strengthening the good.

STG is not an encouragement to donate … it’s an attempt to create awareness. So to learn more about Garden of Angels and Debi’s inspiring example of how one person can make a difference, fight evil, and strengthen the good, you can visit the Garden of Angels site … it includes the charity’s mission statement, news clippings, and other information.

If, however, you do choose to donate, you may do so online … and I’d encourage you to do so (as opposed to using the STG Paypal account and giving Paypal part of your donation). Garden of Angels has a donation page online here, and if you want to do so by check, you may learn how on the same page.

Finally, you can help by clicking the ads over there in the right-hand column. We donate all ad revenues to the profiled charity, so every click and visit to an advertiser helps at the end of the day.

Now … be responsible. Just because I’ve satisfied my qualification of this charity does not mean you’ve satisfied yours. You are responsible for satisfying your own qualification of this or any other charity STG may point to, and while I am profiling this charity, I do not guarantee its legitimacy, its use of whatever funds you might donate, or the accuracy or of the information on its web site.

Hopefully that’s satisfied the attorneys, and we can get back to the business at hand.

Thank you for reading about Debi and the Garden of Angels. We hope it was cause for inspiration, and thank you for working to strengthen the good.

[PS: Thanks to all who supported the Tracy Woodall foundation. When I have a few spare minutes I’ll tally the donations, traffice, and ad revenues the STG network generated for her foundation, and I’ll post an update here.]

Comments

  1. October 4th, 2004 | 12:54 am

    The Garden Of Angels

    If you ever have cried, as I have, after learning of an abandoned newborn in a dumpster, or a mistreated child, please read

  2. October 4th, 2004 | 1:15 am

    Strengthen The Good: Debi Faris And The Garden Of Angels

    As you know, the intent of Strengthen The Good is to raise awareness of "micro charities"--charitable opportunities that are simple, personal, non-bureaucratic, and inspiring. Charitable opportunities where someone can feel great …

  3. October 4th, 2004 | 1:25 am

    STG - Debi Faris And The Garden Of Angels

    Just in case you forgot, Strengthen The Good is all about using many blogs to raise awareness about micro-charities and hopefully do some good in the world. The first STG was a fund to help those who felt teh wrath…

  4. October 4th, 2004 | 1:52 am

    Strengthen the Good

    Strengthen the Good has their next micro charity up, so go there and read about it.

    I am not advocating that you donate, and neither is Strengthen the Good. But if you have the time, go and check out their post. Strengthen the Good is a project to…

  5. October 4th, 2004 | 2:05 am

    Strengthen The Good: Debi Faris And The Garden Of

    Head’s Bunker is honored to participate in “Stregthen the Good”, a network of blogs committed to raising awareness for small charities around the world. …
    The focus for this three weeks is Debi Faris And The Garden Of Angels. Garden of Angels is a…

  6. October 4th, 2004 | 4:19 am

    Go Give Money

    <Drunk> Go Give Money Strengthen The Good has another charity which I am mad crazy about, becaue I’m one of those foaming-at-the-mouth-religious-nut-pro-lifers. Debi Faris gives names and dignified burials to poor infants abandoned by their low-l…

  7. October 4th, 2004 | 4:48 am

    Strengthen The Good

    Strengthen The Good is a project to support little-known micro-charities. The idea is to spread the word through blogging, and if you feel like donating, donate. If you can’t or don’t want to, that’s okay too. Read the story and

  8. October 4th, 2004 | 5:41 am

    http://www.mysinglemomlife.com/blog/archives/2004/10/strengthen_the_1.php

    Strengthen The Good: Strengthening the Good: Debi Faris And The Garden Of Angels In 1996, while I had one eye on dinner and the other on the evening news, I heard a story that would change my life. I stood…

  9. October 4th, 2004 | 5:42 am

    http://www.mysinglemomlife.com/blog/archives/2004/10/strengthen_the_1.php

    Strengthen The Good: Strengthening the Good: Debi Faris And The Garden Of Angels In 1996, while I had one eye on dinner and the other on the evening news, I heard a story that would change my life. I stood…

  10. October 4th, 2004 | 7:08 am

    Strengthen the Good: Garden of Angels

    It’s that time again — time to highlight the current charity at Strengthen the Good. STG’s current micro-charity is Garden of Angels, which is headed up by Debi Faris, and which provides names and legal burials for abandoned newborns. From…

  11. October 4th, 2004 | 7:20 am

    Strengthen The Good: Garden of Angels

    The latest Strengthen the Good charity highlight is a good one: The Garden of Angels. Read it. Help out….

  12. October 4th, 2004 | 8:22 am

    STG: Garden of Angels Project

    Strengthen the Good, of which I’m a member, has just posted about its newest project. The need for this project, Garden of Angels, tears my heart up. Debi Faris’s work is worth everyone’s support.

    Please go to this page to learn more about the pr…

  13. October 4th, 2004 | 9:04 am

    Strengthen the Good: Debi Faris And The Garden Of Angels

    This fortnight’s charity from Strengthen the Good is Garden of Angels. You can donate directly here….

  14. October 4th, 2004 | 11:12 am

    Strengthen The Good

    This month’s highlighted micro-charity is Garden of Angels (STG page). Their purpose is one that cannot fail to tug at your heart:

  15. October 4th, 2004 | 11:27 am

    STG: Debi Faris And The Garden Of Angels

    The Garden on Angels is a charity that truly does…

  16. October 4th, 2004 | 11:33 am

    Stregthen the Good: Garden of Angels

    For the cynics who believe that bloggers are driven by their need to feed their ego, and not out of a principled desire to make this a better land, I ask only that you take a look at Strengthen the Good and the collection of charities that it has cha…

  17. October 4th, 2004 | 12:09 pm

    Touching a Soft Spot

    Given my wife’s pregnancy, I am more acutely sensitive to the welfare of the unborn and infants than I ever was before. I really cannot say anything more in praise of this charity, I think it speaks for itself.

  18. October 4th, 2004 | 12:51 pm

    Strengthening the Good: Debi Faris And The Garden

    As I first mentioned, Strengthen The Good is a group of bloggers who have united to inform the world of certain micro-charities and the wonderful things they do, in hopes of raising money for their cause.

    This charity is definitely bitter-sweet, a…

  19. October 4th, 2004 | 1:50 pm

    Strenthening the good…

    California law SB 1368 allows the parent of a newborn infant — within 3 days — to legally surrender their baby, anonymously and without fear of prosecution, to any employee at any hospital emergency room or other designated ‘Safe Haven’ in Californ…

  20. October 4th, 2004 | 3:03 pm

    STG: Garden of Angels

    Strengthen the Good has highlighted a charity for the week. This week’s charity is Garden of Angels. Garden of Angels was founded in 1996 by Debi Faris-Cifelli. The inspiration for this organization was when Debi heard the story of a…

  21. October 4th, 2004 | 3:16 pm

    Make News-week

    The media and Democrats are in a giddy mood over the Newsweek poll showing John Kerry up by a couple of points over the weekend. The poll and its methods are rather dubious and therefore indicative of absolutely nothing. As John Fund points out in to…

  22. October 4th, 2004 | 6:27 pm

    Strengthen the Good

    A new micro-charity has been named for this edition of Strengthen the Good: Debi Faris And The Garden Of Angels, which claims the bodies of abandoned infants, gives them names, and provides them with dignified burials. Please check it out,…

  23. October 4th, 2004 | 11:42 pm

    Strengthen the Good 3

    The bloggers’ micro-charity network Strengthen the Good has identified its third candidate for your consideration: Debi Faris And The Garden Of Angels. Debi’s charity, the Garden of Angels, works to provide names and legal, honorable burials for abando…

  24. October 5th, 2004 | 12:59 am
  25. October 5th, 2004 | 10:47 am

    Strengthen The Good

    There’s a new post up over there for a charity called the Garden of Angels, which claims the bodies of abandoned infants and gives them names and decent burials. If that sounds interesting, follow the link, and consider giving a…

  26. October 5th, 2004 | 11:05 am

    Strengthening the… Good?

    You know, there’s good charities saving lives and making a difference, bad charities acting as fronts for terrorism, and then there’s just downright creepy ones. I know, I’m supposed to be a good little drone and say go strengthen the…

  27. October 5th, 2004 | 11:33 am

    Strengthen the Good

    Strengthen the Good has found a charity that really fits the objective.  Debi Faris And The Garden Of Angels are worth looking at.  What they do just blows me away.

  28. October 6th, 2004 | 11:17 pm

    Because we believe in dignity, too.

    There are icky things in life, like old cilantro and politicians. Then there are the good things, like comfortable heels and lollipops. And then there are the good things that fight the bad things, like spam and terror. And dead…

  29. October 6th, 2004 | 11:19 pm

    Because we believe in dignity, too.

    There are icky things in life, like old cilantro and politicians. Then there are the good things, like comfortable heels and lollipops. And then there are the good things that fight the bad things, like anti-spam, war on terror, and…

  30. October 13th, 2004 | 1:57 pm

    http://kathrynkennedy.typepad.com/stg/2004/10/strengthen_the_.html

    Strengthen the Good for the Garden of Angels

  31. October 13th, 2004 | 7:38 pm

    The Bet is On

    I’ve decided to take Jason Clarke of MooreLies.com up on his Yankee/Red Sox bet offer. Here’s how it works: Loser donates either 40, 50, 60 or 70 dollars to a charity, depending on how long the series goes (seven games,…

  32. October 14th, 2004 | 9:45 am

    Charity Bet Update

    In response to this story, I’ve decided to name the Special Olympics as my chosen in the Red Sox/Yankee bet. I’m also going to repeat the charity bet post right here so it doesn’t get lost down the page. I’ve…

  33. October 20th, 2004 | 9:26 am

    CELEBRATE LIFE

    Today’s my birthday (34 in case you and Chris Matthews were wondering). It’s funny how your own birthday becomes of less and less consequence when you have kids, or at least that has been my experience. My four-year-old daughter asked…

  34. October 20th, 2004 | 1:19 pm

    Happy Birthday…

    to Michelle Malkin. In lieu of gifts, she’s asking for donations to the following charities: Garden of Angels National Institute of Family & Life Advocates The Gabriel Project…

  35. October 20th, 2004 | 2:39 pm

    Happy Birthday Michelle Malkin

    Happy 34th, Michelle. One of the web’s most popular blogger isn’t asking for gifts though she’s asking for donations… to these charities: Garden of Angels NIFLA The Gabriel Project…

  36. October 21st, 2004 | 8:08 pm

    the do it yourself linkorama

    Tons of links appearing in my inbox this week, and lots of things I wanted to link to but didn’t because I was preoccupied with baseball, so I’ll just round them all up right here. Links away! Chris O’Donnell’s eight…

  37. December 7th, 2004 | 11:48 am

    A CHRISTMAS GIFT FOR THE GARDEN OF ANGELS

    Debi Faris-Cifelli, who founded the moving Garden of Angels (featured here and here), just won California’s $27 million jackpot along with her husband, Steve. “We can do some good with the money,” Steve Cifelli, a high school guidance counselor, told…

  38. December 7th, 2004 | 12:11 pm

    Score it an eight, Dude.

    (Via El-Malkin) AP: Child Advocates Win $27M Calif. Lottery A couple who provide funerals for dead abandoned babies and helped inspire a law to save unwanted newborns have won a $27 million jackpot in the California lottery. Debi Faris-Cifelli and…

  39. December 7th, 2004 | 3:58 pm

    Now that’s what I call Karma

    Those of you who particpate in Strengthen the Good might remember Debi Faris, whose Garden of Angels was an StG charity choice in October. Debi’s Garden of Angels is a project involves "providing dignified burials to infants when they’re found,…

  40. December 7th, 2004 | 4:05 pm

    Strengthen the Good - A Dose of Good Karma!

    Those of you who particpate in Alan’s Strengthen the Good might remember Debi Faris, whose Garden of Angels was an StG charity choice in October. Debi’s Garden of Angels is a project involves “providing dignified burials to infants wh…

  41. January 16th, 2005 | 12:22 pm

    Strengthen the Good

    STG has updated, and the latest micro-charity is Garden of Angels. GoA’s mission is simple: Debi Faris takes the bodies of abandoned newborn infants and provides them with a name and a dignified burial. I’m amazed that others out there…

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