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  • Terrewode Women's Fund

Donor spotlight: 'My joy in motherhood is what drives me to give each month'

Meet Lauren Caruso of Corvalis, Ore., who gives monthly to Terrewode Women's Fund and describes why our work means so much to her.

What inspires you to give to Terrewode Women's Fund? 

TERREWODE [the "parent" organization of Terrewode Women's Community Hospital] does so much more than fistula surgeries. The breadth of their programs spans the entirety of the problem — from local and national advocacy efforts to community education and awareness and from surgery and physical therapy to skill building, mental health support and social reintegration of survivors. As someone who comes from a public health and nonprofit background and now works in a college of business, I appreciate TERREWODE’s expertise and depth of knowledge on the issue, the creativity of their programs, and the unwavering commitment of TERREWODE staff and friends, who do the hard work each and every day.


There are many ways to give, why monthly? 

Last year, I was at a TERREWODE benefit, ready to give a one-time donation of $400 — an amount I felt good about and comfortable with. That evening, however, I learned the full cost of holistic fistula treatment — including surgery, physical therapy, counseling, and reintegration support—was $1,200. While it was more than I could commit to in the moment, I knew I was blessed enough that I wouldn’t miss $100 a month. If an amount of money that I wouldn’t miss in my bank account in any given month could change a woman’s life, why wouldn’t I commit to giving it?

What about Terrewode's work means so much to you and why? 

I first encountered TERREWODE in 2012 while in graduate school. As a student getting my master’s in public health, I had the privilege of completing a nine-week internship with the organization; then, as a professional in Oregon State University’s College of Business, I’ve had the privilege of partnering with TERREWODE on the other end of their work — training survivors with income-generating skills. In the last 12 years, I’ve felt a great love for TERREWODE and the work that they do — so much so that I named my oldest after Alice’s daughter. I’m inspired by the lives TERREWODE has changed, the women they’ve empowered, and the communities they’ve strengthened — their work is priceless and more than worthy of my investment. 

How has your own experience as a mother influenced your giving? 

I’m a mother to three beautiful children. Motherhood has brought me tremendous joy, but it’s not a journey I could successfully walk alone. I’ve had talented and dedicated midwives who have supported me and my husband through four pregnancies; friends and family who have walked alongside me in laughter and tears; and a faith that has grounded me through the highs and lows. I feel my community around me — supporting me — every single day. This support is what makes motherhood such a joy, and my joy in motherhood is what drives me to give each month. I want other women to have this same gift. TERREWODE offers this gift—a community of love and support to countless women suffering from obstetric fistula, the chance to regain the dignity they so deserve, and the opportunity for new beginnings.      


THANK YOU, Lauren and all of our monthly donors, for your ongoing support!


Interested in giving monthly?

It's easy to set up on the Sponsor a Surgery or DONATE pages of our website!


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