It is hard to believe that this all started with a pickle jar and a local tragedy. We are happy to say that the grandmother and granddaughter that started it all are doing very well at this time.
Our first project – Finishing a dream home in the face of catastrophic illness
Our first major project was to help a young couple in the process of building their dream home when a catastrophic illness stopped their dream in its tracks. We helped organize a group of skilled and unskilled volunteers to continue the work. The story was picked up by the producer of the Donnie & Marie show for a Make a Difference Day segment which attracted attention all over the United States to Molly's Angels.
Daughter murdered, Mother in crisis
Then came the tragedy of a women whose family was victimized by her estranged husband who shot and killed their daughter. The woman was wounded and required several operations. She was distraught and homeless. Molly's Angels was able to procure a small mobile home for her and renovate it through fund-raisers and donations. This year we found her a larger mobile home that was donated by the Flood Control Project and today she is back working and raising her grandchild.
5 Year-old buried in brick from earthquake
Then came the earthquake on Sept. 20, 2000 which really was an earth shattering event for a 5yr. old boy who was buried under 300 pounds of brick from a fireplace. Molly's Angels raised over $50,000 so his family could spend time at the hospital during his recovery and not have to worry about money. The young boy eventually recovered and is doing nicely.
Boy loses arm in fire
The next project concerned a teenage boy with cerebral palsy who was so severely burned in a mobile home fire that his right arm had to be amputated. We helped the family replace their loss of home with donations and help from many people. Again, a mobile home was donated by the Flood Control Project and lovely furniture was donated by the residents where the family lives.
Christmas trees for sale raises $30,000
Then, just before the year ended, a wonderful thing happened to Molly's Angels. Going into retirement, Betty Hagedorn, owner of the Christmas Tree Farm on Solano Avenue offered us the possibility of selling all of the Christmas trees on her two acres. Then the Spanos Group from Stockton, who obtained all ten acres on which to build apartments, gave us all of the trees on that property to sell. Carol and Jon Bueno volunteered to sell all the trees for us every weekend. Other volunteers provided coffee and goodies to all who came. They raised over $30,000 for Molly's Angels!
After Betty moved from the tree farm, her lovely little red house which was now on the Spanos Group property was empty. It just so happened that Molly's Angels was trying to help a family by finding a home where stairs were not a problem. The Spanos Group agreed to let us have the house for them to stay in until we got a mobile home ready for them. What a fantastic company! With the help of volunteers, including Walt Kirby from the Veterans Home, we moved the family into the house. They are still waiting for the move to a new site, but thanks to George Altamura, we have a temporary space in his mobile home park until the engineers have the new site ready.
Father’s liver transplant creates need for health insurance
Then Molly's Angels learned of a family of four who were in a dire situation. They were living in a small travel trailer and the father was very ill after undergoing a liver transplant. The Angels were able to pay for the family's health insurance since they were unable to do so themselves. The travel trailer was really inadequate for this family of four but it seemed there was nothing that could be done about it. Then, just as it seemed they would have to move out of Napa because there was no place they could afford to live, their misfortune turned into a small miracle. A local woman passed away and her daughter donated her mother's old single wide mobile home to Molly's Angels! With help from the Gasser Foundation the Angels were able to afford to move the old home and have a newer double wide moved into its space. The family is now very happily settled, and the father's health has improved. Don't ever try to convince Molly's Angels that miracles don't happen.
More mobile homes
Shortly thereafter, Molly began to feel she was in the mobile home business. She was able to obtain six more mobile homes to help people have a home who will probably never be able to afford to buy a house. The Angels sincerely appreciate the City of Napa and the Flood Control Project for making this happen. We are truly blessed to be living in such a giving community.
Girl with brain tumor saved
It was brought to our attention in early 2000 about a 14 yr. old girl with a brain tumor. The family was told there was nothing more that could be done. They heard of a Dr. Burzynski who runs a clinic in Texas which has had a huge amount of success in treating Astrocytoma brain tumors, which is the type of tumor she has. She had already undergone 2 major surgeries, external radiation treatment, radioactive seed implants and four different chemotherapy treatments which unfortunately left her in a wheelchair and with some brain damage. But this was her last chance for life. We did a fundraiser for her and raised quite a bit of money to help with medical bills and other expenses. We also had four members who took turns staying with Danielle so that her parents could go to their two sons various baseball and football games. A beautiful bond was created between this lovely family and Molly's Angels. We are happy to report that Danielle graduated from High School this past June of 2005.
Boy goes to Harry Potter
Another touching story which happened in late 2001 was that of an 11-1/2 year old boy dying of cancer. We were able to help his family with finances and support, but one thing we were able to do which gave us more joy than anything else that could be done, was to give this little boy his last wish He wanted to see the movie, Harry Potter. Thanks to Piner's Ambulance Service and Cinedome Theater we took the boy by ambulance to see the film at a private showing at no charge. He really seemed to enjoy it. This beautiful young boy is now in heaven.