Niagara Falls is known for its incredible waterfalls and related attractions. People from around the world come to witness its beauty and majesty.
But Chuck and Mary Ann Vacanti are offering something else truly beautiful in this New York locale: support for new mothers so they will be less likely to abort future children.
The independent charity, St. Mary’s Center For Life, was designed to help these women, as many in the area face economic hardships.
“In our area there is very little assistance for pregnant moms, babies, and their older siblings,” said Chuck Vacanti. “People don’t realize that Niagara Falls is a poor area so close to the majestic falls.”
The organization works through local social workers from the area’s agencies, including hospitals and shelters. It also has partnered with local houses of worship. Support offered includes clothing, baby items, diapers, dishes, other household items, and furniture, such as youth beds.
“We also provide winter snowsuits and jackets for the children, and winter coats for the moms,” he said. “If we take some of the burden away from the moms, they will be better able to support their children now and welcome any future children. We want them to know and feel the support of their community.”
This is a mission they have dedicated approximately the last decade of their lives to, helping more families with each passing year.
“This last year we helped 235 kids and 20 moms with clothes,” he said. “We also have given out about 100 or more winter coats.”
Tweet This: This last year we helped 235 kids and 20 moms with clothes. We also have given out about 100 or more winter coats-St. Mary’s Center For Life
The Vacantis know there are people who believe the pro-life movement ignores mothers in need once their babies are born and safe from abortion (which is of course, largely untrue). Their work helps show the reality that love and care continues past birth. It’s about celebrating the lives of innocent children.
“My wife and I love kids,” Chuck Vacanti said. “We have four adult children and five grandchildren.”
Speaking of children, the Vacantis also adore the many youths in the area who have been inspired to help with the efforts. A group of high school girls from Mount St. Mary’s Academy in Tonawanda held a clothing drive for St. Mary’s.
“The kids really get it,” Chuck Vacanti said. “They love unconditionally.”
“I think all kids are pro-life,” he said.
“There are a lot of wonderful people in our community that don’t mind helping if they know there’s a need,” Vacanti added. “None of this would be possible without the support of our faith community. We function strictly by donations, and we are all volunteers.”
St. Mary’s has even had a visit from pro-life leader Frank Pavone, national director of Priests for Life.
“He absolutely loved our center and what we were doing,” Vacanti said.
Chuck Vacanti also wanted to make clear that this program isn’t limited to helping Christian families.
“Our center is open to all races and faiths, showing love for other people,” he said.
Families in need who are local to the area can find St. Mary’s Center for Life at 256 3rd St. in Niagara Falls, New York.