Money will help her crusade to save unwanted babies.
All too often, the ring of cell phone means there is another abandoned newborn at the morgue, another forsaken child for her to name and bury in a shoebox-size coffin under a white cross in the California desert.
Last week, though, Faris-Cifelli who has had to rely on donations, grants and fund-raisers to give babies a decent burial got a very different call.
She had won the California lottery.
The jackpot: $27 million.
"Maybe it's the children saying, 'Thank you' for taking care of them when nobody else would," Faris-Cifelli said. "It's a gift and one for which we feel an awesome responsibility."
The money could not come at a better time for Faris-Cifelli and her Garden of Angels, the tiny cemetery where she has buried dozens of tiny children whose mothers didn't hear or didn't care about California's safe-haven law.
Under the 2001 law, parents have three days to abandon infants without fear of prosecution. California is one of 46 states with such a law.
Faris-Cifelli helped win passage of the law and has made it her life's work to spread the word that scared and confused parents should drop their newborns at firehouses and hospitals not in trash cans and alleys. She lobbies in states without such laws, talks to teens and police and has attended 12 trials of mothers accused of abandoning their infants. She also lays the dead to rest.
Faris-Cifelli, 49, does all that with just a three-person staff and $172,000 annual budget covered by donations, grants, car washes and bake sales.
Now the deeply religious mother and her husband, Steve, will receive an after-tax lump sum of nearly $9 million. Some of the winnings will go to the couple's seven children, most to her crusade. It was only the third time she and her husband had played the lottery.