“Make sure that whatever you’re doing, you’re passionate about it and that it comes from the heart.” – Marsha Moeller
Sharing a Mother's Love
Hospital benefactor dedicates new Women’s and Family Center to memory of her mother
Marsha Moeller is every bit her mother’s daughter.
From her impeccable sense of style to her passion for entertaining, the Anaheim Hills philanthropist sees the influence of her late mother, Helen Caloggero, in all she does. Marsha’s greatest inspiration, though, comes from her mother’s giving spirit.
“My mother was one of 14 children,” shared Marsha. “Each of her siblings had after-school jobs, and she would say, ‘I want a little portion of your paycheck, because Mom and Dad want a dining room set.’ So she saved up enough to buy my grandmother the
dining room set she wanted all her life.”
That spirit of generosity is evident in Marsha’s own commitment to Providence St. Joseph Hospital. In addition to her outright and planned gifts, she purchased her exquisite home specifically as a venue for hospital fundraising events. She also serves as honorary chair of the Gala.
Most recently, Marsha has made a historic planned gift to support the development of the new Helen Caloggero Women’s and Family Center. Slated to open in 2023, the beautiful new facility will bring together maternity care, a birthing center and other vital women’s health services in a central location on the corner of Main Street and Stewart Drive.
Marsha says she is honored to name the new facility after her mother, who died of complications of tuberculosis when Marsha was only seven years old. “I think of her every single day,” she said quietly. “I didn’t have her physical presence, but I do feel like
she’s been very present in my life.”
Throughout her life, Marsha Moeller has cherished her time with her many Boston-area aunts, uncles and cousins — particularly the stories they would share about her mother. “I just relished them because I don’t have all those memories,” she said.
Marsha recounts an especially poignant story from the time her mother was in the hospital, not long before she passed away. “I remember I made my first communion. And back then, children weren’t allowed to go into hospitals,” she reflected. “So they took me up on the roof of the hospital because my mother had a window that looked out on the roof. I remember seeing the nurses tilt a mirror and try to sit her up in bed, so she could see her little girl in her communion dress. I will never forget that.”
Marsha’s passion for giving has been motivated in part by the challenges and loss she has faced in her own life. In November 2008, she suffered a stroke and, with the help of the Providence
St. Joseph medical team, fought her way to a complete recovery. Shortly thereafter, her husband Ron Moeller was diagnosed with lung cancer and battled the disease six-and-a-half years before finally succumbing in 2016.
“My interaction with the doctors, nurses, nurse navigators and the Foundation got me through my darkest days,” said Marsha. “I thought, is there something I can do to give back?”
Since that time, Marsha has made philanthropy a focus in her life. “I think the good Lord is showing me what my purpose is,” she explained. “It makes me happy to give. I have faith in the Foundation to put that money where it’s needed. It makes me feel like I’m really contributing and part of a community.”
Her advice to others who are considering a major gift to an organization like Providence St. Joseph Hospital: “Make sure that whatever you’re doing, you’re passionate about it and that it comes from the heart. You should feel joyful about your giving.” In the meantime, Marsha Moeller is intent on enjoying every moment, with a combination of deep humility and humor. She begins and ends each day by reciting the Prayer of St. Francis, which begins, “Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace.” She seeks to give, rather than to receive. To comfort, rather than to be comforted.
And along the way, Marsha retains her signature joie de vivre. “I have the best time,” she said with a laugh. “I don’t want to change who I am. I’m going to be me.” And that’s exactly what her mother would want.
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