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- Mercy in Action
Current Position: Pediatric Nurse Technician at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
How often do you see college students using their free time giving back to people who need it most? At GMercyU, it’s more common than you’d think. Take Class of 2019 graduate, Maria Sansom, who earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing in May. Between juggling her nursing studies, extracurriculars, and service activities, Maria still managed to find time to start her own charitable organization.
When Maria participated in GMercyU’s Alternative Spring Break (ASB) trip in Cincinnati, Ohio, she had an eye-opening experience that changed her life. Her group worked in numerous shelters for mothers, children, and families who were survivors of domestic abuse and other dire situations. Maria was struck by the plight of the families she encountered, and when she returned home, she realized there were families in her own backyard who needed help.
"I was so inspired. I went to Campus Ministry and said, ‘I want to do something. I want to do something big and make a difference’.”
Maria worked diligently with Campus Ministry to come up with something she could do to make a difference in our community, and thus, Baby Bundles was born. The mission of Baby Bundles is to ensure and restore dignity and hope to expectant mothers, especially those on the margins of society.
Embracing GMercyU’s core value of Respect for the Dignity of Each Person, Maria created a program that not only ensures mothers are receiving the necessities that so many take for granted, but that the “bundles” are packaged and presented beautifully. She insists that just because someone might be poor, it doesn’t mean that each new life shouldn’t be celebrated with joy and honor. Maria aims to support these mothers during their vulnerable times while showing them that their community cares.
"If you put in the hard work, you’re going to see the results and you’re going to be able to achieve your dreams."
The number of Baby Bundles Maria has created and the lives she has touched is impossible to count. She has even transformed a room in her house into a mini-warehouse and has recruited family, friends, and fellow GMercyU Griffins as volunteers. She has truly followed in the footsteps of Catherine McAuley, who met needs in very practical, yet caring and meaningful, ways.
For her service contributions both on and off campus, Maria was honored with the 2019 Alumni Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Student, which is awarded annually at GMercyU’s Honors Convocation.
Since graduating, Maria has successfully passed the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) and has accepted a full-time nursing position with the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP).