Mary Siles is a dynamo, and a “jack of all trades,” who is an invaluable volunteer at Mama’s House. Mary primarily volunteers these days in the office, handling a lot of clerical duties such as numerous mailings and other office-related work. As she explains it, she loves being where all the action is! Her additional duties include being a member for the past two years of the Mama’s House Leadership Committee, and Chair of all the Luncheon Committee Chairs for the Mama’s House 7th Annual HEARTbeat of Love Luncheon, which featured former White House Press Secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders.
“Mary started initially babysitting the babies at Mama’s House, and was always on hand to do whatever needed to be done in the office, as well,” stated Mama’s House Co-founder Patricia McDonnell. “Mary worked closely with me on all of the special events Mama’s House hosted, and assisted me on whatever was needed at any time,” she continued.
It was Patricia who first got Mary involved with Mama’s House, due to their strong personal friendship. Mary has been involved with the organization almost from the beginning seven years ago. She and her husband met Patricia and her husband at Toscana Country Club in Palm Desert, when they were paired up one day to play golf together. Following that golf outing, Mary and Patricia became fast friends, having dinner together quite often, and doing a lot of other things together, including their annual couples trip to Napa.
Mary's initial involvement was with the very first young mother at Mama’s House and her son, Jayden. This encounter with the first resident really resonated with Mary, who says she can relate to many of the girls because she, like some of them, was not raised by her parents.
“My grandparents raised me,” Mary said, so she understands what some of these girls who are pregnant are going through. Often they have no parents in their lives, due to the fact that many of their parents may be incarcerated or just not in their lives any longer.
“Many of my early childhood friends would not want to play with me because I came from a broken home,” Mary recalls. She feels forever indebted to her grandparents saying, “they were religious and that gave me tremendous stability. Who knows where I would be today if they had not stepped in to help raise me?”
“After all my years of owning a manufacturing business with my husband with 65 employees, I was used to being very organized,” Mary recalls. “Many of the skills I learned during my business career I was able to apply to the volunteer work I do at Mama’s House. As CFO and VP of our company, I handled such duties as accounts payable, insurance issues, human resource issues, end of year reports, etc. I love working at Mama’s House’s Hope Center, because I am in the middle of everything going on. I get to see the girls coming and going with their beautiful babies. I witness how busy and productive these mamas are each day with their schedules, in order to accomplish their overall goals and objectives through the highly-successful Mama’s House program. I truly enjoy being where the action is and being a part of it,” she continued.
As a member of the Mama’s House Leadership Committee, Mary’s primary responsibilities include developing creative ways to promote goodwill, raise funds, and keep in touch with the volunteers. Mary was also responsible for overseeing all the Luncheon Committee Chairs for this year's Mama’s House HEARTbeat of Love luncheon. In this capacity, Mary supervised ten chairs, assisted with handling the registration process, worked with the audio-visual people, worked closely with the two Event Co-chairs on every aspect of the luncheon, assisted with the silent auction by putting together gift baskets, as well as writing thank you notes following the luncheon. Mary does everything you could think of, and is always there to lend a helping hand. Everyone involved at Mama’s House knows they can rely on her for any task requested.
Mary is happy to do it all because it is very worthwhile and gratifying work, and she strongly feels there is a great need to help these young mothers. “Not all of the girls who come to Mama’s House are from the Coachella Valley -- they come from different parts of the country, usually referred by another agency. Mama’s House is doing such great things giving these girls a new, productive life. My time and work at Mama’s House has been truly rewarding.”
“Mary is such a special friend,” said Patricia. “I really don't know how to properly thank Mary for all she has done for Mama’s House, because she has been such a blessing. We are so very grateful to her!”