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Anne S. Deaton

President Emeritus

I am enormously inspired by the diverse and growing number of members of all ages in our community who are responding to Children's Grove activities designed to unleash the transformative power of kindness, one person to another.  And I am deeply grateful for our community education programs that provide knowledge about the signs of emotional and mental stress in our youth so that we adults might respond in a helpful way.   I truly believe the Children's Grove is a great volunteer opportunity that keeps on giving in ways that can change a life forever.

Kim Dude-Lammy


I recently retired from the University of Missouri where I worked for 38 years and was the Director of the Wellness Resource Center, the campus prevention office.  I loved my job and was very worried about how I would find fulfillment in retirement.  I have found the perfect organization with the Children’s Grove.  I have a passion to change the world.  I am a strong believer in kindness and civility.  I am so happy I found the Children’s Grove.


I am a long time Columbia resident, graduate of the University of Missouri, CPA, recently retired from 30+ years of tax accounting at Williams Keepers, mother and grandmother, supporter of Children’s Grove and its mission.

Susan Heinsz


Susan Currier

Volunteer Coordinator

Kindness is a gift that every individual can afford to give – even if it is just a smile. The best part of kindness is that it is a gift that can keep giving. What a privilege it is to volunteer with Children’s Grove - a non-profit organization with the mission of growing kindness - especially with our youth. Children’s Grove spoke to my heart when I was looking for an organization on which to volunteer.

Judy Snyder


It is our responsibility as adults to create and maintain a safe and peaceful world for children and young adults to live in, play, sing, grow, and explore their interests and talents.  I strongly support the Children's Grove's work to increase kindness in the world and to improve child and youth mental health.

Marjorie Sable

Retired Educator & Community Volunteer

I retired from the University of Missouri in 2016 where I was a professor in the School of Social Work, and director for my last 9 years. I have been a volunteer with numerous community and public health organizations. Childhood sets the stage for so many things in life, including emotional well-being and mental health. Children's Grove mission of promoting kindness to children, families and the community is an important undertaking.

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Vinita Khanna

Licensed Professional Counselor

My involvement with the Children’s Grove and the Putting Kids First initiatives has truly inspired me to further kindness, inclusion, and diversity efforts. I believe that kindness creates community, and the Children’s Grove is helping to create a positive and powerful community. After all, a single act of kindness is completely free and easy to pass on, and is very accessible to everyone. The impact of Children’s Grove’s behavioral health initiatives is enormous and continues to make change for the better. Through my son Yash Pal Khanna, a Founding Youth Kindness Ambassador, I can see the difference Children’s Grove has made in our youth and our adults.

​Lisa Fritsche

Retired Religious Education Director, Unitarian Universalist Church

​Community Volunteer

After retiring, I was invited by a friend to become involved with Children's Grove.  Since joining the team, I have been inspired by the compassion for children's health and happiness that I see in our work together. We all know that kindness creates community, and Children's Grove gives me the opportunity to promote more kindness in our world. 

Pete Millier

Director of Campus Facilities-Landscape Service, Mizzou Botanic Garden, University of Missouri

I believe that the value of kindness is the core of the Golden Rule to treat others as one would like to be treated and should be fostered by every means.  The Children’s Grove is one of these means as it actively works to promote the value of kindness as well as acts and expressions of kindness in the community.

Mary Druce

Accountant & Business Owner

Joyce Smith

Interior & Floral Designer

Community Volunteer

As a mother, designer and educator, my central thread has always been children.
Children's Grove has ignited my own self awareness to be more observant, involved and proactive in activities that raise awareness about youth-related mental and emotional issues. I am grateful and humbled to share my creative gifts with Children's Grove programs, particularly the art and photo contest. It has enriched me as a person. Kindness is the root of our inner being. It is felt by all, regardless of your age, race, religion or culture.

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Iris Calloway

Development & Fundraising

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Lorah Lackland

Marketing & Web

When I was first introduced to Children's Grove, I immediately fell in love with the mission of the organization. After working with Children's Grove on an outside collaboration, I was asked to become a board member and I was elated! Kindness is at the root of all happiness and good; as such, its importance will never waver. I can't wait to put my marketing and communications skills to use to benefit the youth and young adults of Boone County!

Honorary Board of Directors

  • Judith LeFevre

  • Rose & Mike Porter

  • Robin Wenneker

In Memorium

  • Erin Reynolds


Kindness Partners

  • Boone County Early Childhood Coalition

  • Centerpointe Hospital

  • Community United Methodist Church

  • Columbia Public Schools

  • Commerce Bank

  • Compass Health

  • Daniel Boone Regional Library

  • League of Women Voters

  • Miller’s Professional Imaging / Mpix

  • Missouri Business Alert

  • Missouri United Methodist Church

  • Odyssey Chamber Music Series

  • Office of Cultural Affairs

  • Paul Pepper & Friends

  • Parks and Recreation

  • Putting Kids First

  • Ragtag Cinema

  • Resident Arts

  • Stephens College

  • Stephens Creative

  • Unbound Book Festival

  • University of Missouri

  • Youth Community Coalition

Children's Grove would like to thank each and every partner organization, donor, past board member and volunteer who has helped us spread our mission since 2013.

"A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees. The greatest work that kindness does to others is that it makes them kind themselves." - Amelia Earhart

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