Kiana Giunta had a special project in mind when she applied to join the Difference Maker Program, a group of philanthropic and service-minded students at Mariners Christian School in Costa Mesa. She demonstrated a “servant’s heart” says Katie Niles, middle school dean at Mariners. “She walks with integrity and is committed from beginning to end to make it happen. With Kiana, it’s never about her; it’s about how she serves others and shares God’s love.”
Kiana felt a calling to raise funds so that a local hospital of her choice could purchase Bibles to give to patients. At the outset, she had a few obstacles, but she persisted. Through the Associated Student Body (ASB), she organized a bake sale on campus and, thanks to the generosity of her fellow students and school faculty and staff, she raised $1,003.
“When I realized how much money was raised, I was in shock. I was really happy to give money that could buy so many Bibles,” Katie says.
After some careful research, Kiana chose Hoag because it was where she and her brothers and sister were born. But she and Mrs. Niles were also impressed by Hoag’s Pastoral Care Department that provides services that meet the spiritual needs of patients and their families, physicians, employees and the community at large.
“We are deeply grateful and inspired by Kiana’s initiative and strength of spirit in pursuing her goal to serve her community,” says Rev. Jeffery J. Scheer, BCC, ACPE Certified Educator, interim director of Hoag Pastoral Care. “We will distribute the Bibles her gift has provided with much love and appreciation.”
Mrs. Niles hopes that Kiana’s gift will also build a bridge for future Difference Maker projects to benefit Hoag Pastoral Care. “We were so impressed by their outreach and service,” she says.
Although she may be 14 years old, Kiana demonstrated a determination to give earlier in her life. When she turned ten years old, her parents offered to take her on a birthday trip anywhere she wanted to go. Kiana chose El Salvador, where she and her mom volunteered at orphanages and helped to build a house. “I played with the kids of the family we were building the house for,” Kiana remembers.
In March, Kiana sent the funds to Hoag Pastoral Care with love in her heart. "I hope these Bibles can help people know God, especially people in the ICU,” she says.