Family Donates Counseling Room Renovation in Honor of their Parents
In 1967, California governor Ronald Reagan legalized therapeutic abortions, and legal abortions rapidly soared to over 100,000 a year, prompting David and Marilyn Kasperick to put their faith into action to save lives. They joined a committed group of volunteers who started a hotline for pregnant women to call for support and a free pregnancy test in the early 1970s (No over-the-counter pregnancy tests yet).
Hotline volunteers used pseudonyms to protect everyone’s privacy, and David and Marilyn chose “Sally” and “Sam” — the names of two children in the reading textbooks they’d used as teachers. Hotline calls were routed to volunteers in different cities on different days, and the seven Kasperick children knew if a caller asked for Sally or Sam on a Saturday or Sunday, they should run for Mom or Dad.
St. Bernadine’s Hospital in San Bernardino agreed to provide free tests, and soon the Knights of Columbus started organizing Right to Life marches from the hospital to a local park. The Knights also provided pro-life literature for marchers to share. Dan Kasperick remembers carrying a banner with one of his sisters in such a march.
As calls increased from an average of four a day to more than ten, volunteers recognized a need to provide a warm and welcoming place for women in need to go. The Knights helped rent a small house and Marilyn was the first volunteer director of this home, where she also answered phones and provided pregnancy and fetal development information to callers. Another trained volunteer provided counseling.
A second home was later opened in the nearby city of Corona. Still later, a larger house donated to the Diocese of San Bernardino became a shelter where women who wanted to parent their babies could live. Volunteers, including the Kaspericks, renovated the home and brought it up to code. About three years later, an order of Sisters approached the diocese, offering to manage that home; their mission was to care for unwed mothers. “Sally and Sam” continued to serve at the smaller home.
The Kasperick children — Helen, Catherine, Vincent, Teresa, Dan, Cecilia, and Annemarie — and their families hope the renovation of this room inspires others to support Family Life Services and carry on their parents’ legacy of life and love.