Making National Changes Through Local Actions

Volunteers from All Over Contribute to a Global Crisis

Casa Teresa is a non profit organization centered around providing pregnant women in crisis a safe and respecting place to begin their healing journey. With deep and ancient roots in the Orange County community, this organization has impacted the lives of over 6,800 pregnant women.

Locally speaking, the organization has a thrift store type branch located in Old Town Orange, dedicated solely to receiving and reselling donated clothes. ‘The Collection’ as it is called, accepts donations from all over, specifically Newport beach Old Town Orange.

  El Modena’s own freshman, Ruby Galuszka, regularly volunteers at this location, and is one of the many unpaid workers who give back to the community. Galuszka has been volunteering for just shy of one year, and admits she initially reached out to “to get service hours for ASB at McPherson”, however continued because she found the work enjoyable and fun. She also shared this community service opportunity became much more to her when she “made friends with everyone there.”

Galuszka explained she participates in a variety of jobs when working, including tagging clothes, cleaning, and working the register. However none of these tasks compare to her favorite: interacting with everyone there. This includes the employees, customers, or moms from the organization. She continued on to say, “they all have a unique story and being part of this secret community is really fascinating.”

Being a young volunteer at an organization like Casa Teresa, Galuszka has been exposed to many hardships the world offers, however she doesn’t let this discourage her. She marveled about how sometimes they are able to go to the facility where all the pregnant women live to pick up supplies, and “just knowing that we are giving them a home makes me so happy.”

    Store manager, Yvonne Lopez expressed her gratitude for the organization, claiming “It is really inspiring to see how a community can come together to help those in need.” Lopez initially began working as a volunteer, and was moved up to store manager after two years.

  She expressed her day to day jobs include those of regular volunteers, as well as overseeing everyone at this branch. Lopez went on to explain her favorite part of working at The Collection, is when she sees a pregnant woman shopping. “To know these women who understand the troubles of those we are helping choose to come and donate their money makes me feel accomplished as well as proud of society.”

    Lopez explained Casa Teresa focuses on giving pregnant women a safe shelter, which is extremely important. Not only do they provide food and shelter, but a space that is their own sanctuary, free of judgement. The Collection proceeds go to funding everything these young women need to survive. Lopez expressed the hardest part of her job is hearing the stories of the young women. “Many of these women are kids with nowhere to turn,” she sadly admitted. However this tragic situation allows people like lopez and Galuszka to showcase their charitable hearts and truly give back to a national community.

    Galuszka expressed an additional fact she wanted more to know regarding ‘The collection’, is that “the store is beautiful and the clothing is really high end for a really cheap price.” Lopez similarly hoped to share, “each volunteer works very hard and is very generous and passionate about what they do. So when choosing to donate clothes, just know each piece is handled with care and the proceeds go to those in desperate need.

    Casa teresa provides a platform for those who aim to aid. Clothing and jewelry donations, money, and time are all valued at each Casa Teresa location. Volunteers are always welcome and are able to apply through the website. Volunteers like Lopez and Galuszka are prime examples of humans who use their passions to benefit those in need.



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