Our Founder

Our Founder

In June of 1994 Cathy Howe, a homemaker living in the South Hills of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania traveled to Medjugorje, Bosnia-Hercegovina following the passing of her mother. While there she visited the Capljina refugee camp in Tasovcici. She was part of a humanitarian group which was greeted by children and adults left homeless by the Bosnian War.

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I’ve been a pediatric oncology social worker at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC since Mother’s Hope Foundation began touching the hearts and minds of families struggling with childhood cancer here. Not only does Mother’s Hope assist families financially, but it’s the “hidden gifts’ that come along with it that are lasting and life-changing.  Parents have expressed to me that your “labor of love” has enabled them more freedom to visit their loved ones, brightened their outlook, lessened their burdens and lifted their spirits.  Families have told me that your care and support for them gives them HOPE that they will make it through.

I only wish you all could witness the family’s sincere gratitude, tears and hugs that belong to you.  I have experienced hearts enlarged by your gifts as parents look to the future to a time when they can give back too just as you have given to them.  Parents have asked why perfect strangers would do this for them.  My answer is that all families have been touched by cancer in some way and that many of those who have done this fundraising have been in the same situation they are in now.  I tell them that Mother’s Hope is not a stranger to them and they will not be left alone in their fight. Sharon Lavallee, LSW Oncology social worker Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC
Sharon Lavallee, LSW

There is nothing more heartening than receiving a gift that allows us to serve one more family in need.  We are so grateful for the wonderful contribution the Mother’s Hope Foundation has made to build the Mother’s Hope Endowment here at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh – helping us serve many more families in need.

The Mother’s Hope Foundation Endowment is particularly dedicated to providing financial support to families who are special because it is the only permanent fund we have battling cancer.  Every year, this fund generates income that is given directly to families in need. We recently heard a story from our social work team about one such family with a little girl battling cancer.  Despite traditional chemotherapy treatment, the little girl’s cancer was unchanged and Children’s physicians determined that a bone marrow transplant was the child’s only hope for a cure.  In November, the little girl received her bone marrow transplant at Children’s and is doing much better!  Her guardians have been here with her every step of the way thanks to extra support provided by Mother’s Hope. On behalf of this family and all the families that benefit from your support, thank you for your boundless generosity. Sincerely, J. Gregory Barrett President of Children’s Hospital Foundation  
J. Gregory Barrett

The greatest gift of God’s love is received when love becomes real in the love of a good person.  Love comes through those who come in His name.  After many years I still remember the moment  when Cathy Howe came to Mother’s Village. She entered the house where little Jerko, his sister Kata, Josip, Dragica and Ante  live.  In the most providential way Cathy  and her  people of Mother’s Hope Foundation became  dear friends  and benefactors. Every year the donation of Mother’s Hope Foundation enabled us to continue in  providing life for the life of our children.  During the times when we were reparing our  Kindergarten, difficult and memorable times,  it was  Cathy’s help that enabled us to complete the project.  The wonderful people of Mother’s Hope Foundation,  Cathy and  her family came to our rescue giving us hope, security and consolation.

Cathy’s visits to Medugorje and Mother’s Village to me were the times of story listening.   Like a child I listened about the drama of human love and emphaty. Cathy spoke about bishops, priests, people from the world of entartainment and sports personalities.  To me thay all became my own family, brothers and sisters participating in this story of love and care for the needy.

Fr. Svetozar Kraljevic

Mother’s Village

Bosnia and Hercegovina

Fr. Svetozar Kraljevic