Who We Are
Our Family Support Services department is comprised of Master's-level mental health professionals specializing in helping donor families through the loss of a loved one. Meet our team below.
Lara Moretti, Director has been working at Gift of Life since April 2003. She obtained her Master of Science in Social Work from Columbia University and is both a licensed social worker and a certified thanatologist (the study of death, dying and bereavement). She has seen the Family Support Services department grow and expand in order to continue to provide the best possible care to donor families and recipients. Lara credits much of what she has learned about grief, compassion, strength and growth to the many donor families she has interacted with over the years. When not at work, Lara serves as chef, chauffeur and social director for her busy family which includes her husband and two children.
Shonda Brinson joined Gift of Life in August of 2019. She earned her Master of Social Work from the University of New England. Prior to joining Gift of Life, Shonda worked as a Life Skills Manager at an agency for the blind and visually impaired. Her interests in the field of grief and loss lead her to two internships at a hospice and an organization for grieving children. These experiences reinforced her passion for helping others and her interest in supporting grieving individuals and families. Shonda looks forward to providing compassionate and personalized care to our donor families. When Shonda is not working, she enjoys spending time with her son, and participating in fitness and art classes offered in the city.
Rachel D’Agostino joined Gift of Life in October of 2021. She earned her Masters in Community Trauma Counseling at Thomas Jefferson University. Prior to joining Gift of Life, she worked as a counselor for children, adolescents, and adults with a focus in trauma. Rachel hopes to provide support to families by holding space for their grief and allowing them to feel heard, seen and validated in their experiences. When not at work, Rachel can be found spending time with her rescue pup, cooking, or taking pottery classes.
Emily Jauregui joined Gift of Life in April 2017. She received her Master’s in Community Counseling from the George Washington University. Prior to Gift of Life, she worked as a hospice bereavement coordinator. She is excited to be here and is amazed at the grace and selflessness of the donors and their families. Emily spends her free time with her husband on basketball courts and baseball and football fields watching her three children play.
Cynthia Foust joined Gift of Life in August 2022. She earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology from LaSalle University. Prior to joining Gift of Life, Cynthia worked as the Executive Assistant to the Senior VP of the Human Resources Dept. for PGW. Cynthia looks forward to assisting the Family Support Services department in any way she can and is amazed at the commitment and dedication that the Family Support Services team has in supporting donor families and recipients that have received the loving gift of donation. Cynthia is a caregiver to her now-80 year-old mother and spends her free time enjoying movies, reading and traveling.
Jessica Mereshensky joined Gift of Life Donor Program in September 2023 as a Family Support Services Intern. Jessica is pursuing her bachelor’s in social work at Widener University, where she also serves as a teaching assistant for an introduction to social work class and manager for the Widener Pride Recreational Center. Jessica enjoys supporting older adults through her work and has completed a service-learning project with the Department of Aging where she conducted weekly outreach calls to an older adult. She has also organized and completed a qualitative research study on older adults and their post-COVID experiences and is currently working on a research project focused on post-COVID responses with immunocompromised older adults and the link between long COVID syndrome and mental health challenges. Jessica looks forward to assisting the department.