Our vice president of marketing and development talks about championing life alongside the mother of professional athlete Tim Tebow.
Thousands, perhaps millions, heard the stories of two remarkable women on January 19, 2018, at the March for Life in Washington, D.C. One was our beloved Marianne Donadio, Room At The Inn’s vice president of marketing and development. President Donald Trump shared on national television from the White House Rose Garden the wondrous outcome of Marianne’s choosing life for her baby when she was just 17 years old.
“The biggest and most obvious blessing is my son Benedict,” Marianne said recently when reflecting on the choice she made as a teenager. “Looking back through the years, I can see that because I trusted God, He took my scary situation and turned it into my incredibly fulfilling life’s work raising six children with my husband and working to protect the unborn and their mothers. It eventually led to that moment in 2018 as well. To be recognized on a national scale was unfathomable—I never even dreamed of something like that.”
Because Marianne had the support of her parents during her unplanned pregnancy, she was driven to serve women who aren’t as fortunate. “In that situation, it’s easy to feel alone, as many women really are. Despair makes the walls close in making it feel like there’s only one way out, but often moms have said to me all I needed was someone to tell me they’d support my choice to raise my child. The people of Room At The Inn—staff, donors and volunteers—are the hearts and hands of that support, and because of them, we’ve served hundreds of women and their children.”
Marianne first dipped her toes in pro-life activism in 1987 when she attended the March for Life in Washington, D.C., for the first time. In 1989, her convictions turned into an ardent passion for protecting unborn babies and their mothers after experiencing her own unplanned pregnancy. Marianne participated in rescues and a myriad of other pro-life activities until being hired at Room At The Inn (RATI) in 2011. “What’s so beautiful about working here is seeing moms not only choosing life and becoming self-sufficient but also watching many of them develop a spiritual life—I know personally how important it is to rely on the strength and grace of God no matter what you face.”
Amid all the excitement of appearing on national television with the President of the United States, Marianne sensed a kindred spirit in keynote speaker Pam Tebow at the March for Life in 2018. When she heard Pam’s talk about relying on God during her pregnancy (also in the late 1980s) while living as a missionary in the Philippines, Marianne knew Pam would be a fantastic speaker for future RATI banquet.
Pam and her husband, Bob, faced a dire medical prognosis when she was pregnant with their son Tim—and a doctor recommended abortion. The Tebows refused to end the life of their child, despite the difficulty of Pam’s pregnancy and the threat on her life. By God’s grace, they found a pro-life doctor in Manila. The Tebow family and their friends persevered in trust and prayer for baby Timothy to grow big and strong. The Heisman Trophy–winning football player the not-so-tiny Tim became was God’s response to their love—an inspiring testament to the power of prayer, especially those of a loving mother. Pam explores the topic of Christian womanhood in her recent book Ripple Effects: Discover the Miraculous Motivating Power of a Woman’s Influence.
Like the stories of Marianne and Pam, the situations of moms needing RATI’s help vary. One thing every mother approaching the ministry has in common, however, is the need for ongoing support. “We’re always looking to reach more hearts and minds with our mission, and Pam’s warm, authentic personality is powerful in drawing in and inspiring a variety of people,” Marianne said. “We can’t wait to hear what she has to say!”
For more inspiration from Pam and Marianne and to become a part of our life-saving mission, join us for “A Mother’s Heart,” our benefit banquet at the Greensboro Sheraton on Thursday, October 17. To get involved right away, help us spread the word by inviting your friends to the banquet as a table host.
Questions? Please email Annie Ferguson.