Staff & Board

Valerie Crane

Executive Director
valerie@helponechild.org

Valerie originally joined the ministry in 2013 as a Program Manager to launch its outreach to often forgotten teens living in group home residences through our Supper Club program. She steered its considerable growth with care and professionalism, developing key relationships with agencies and volunteers concurrently. In 2015 she joined the full-time staff as Help One Child’s Director of Operations, overseeing the ministry’s more than 20 programs and events with an eye to expansion or collaboration where the need and opportunity arose. In 2017, she established Help One Child as the Regional Manager of CarePortal, a technology platform that enables our ministry to oversee the direct connection of social service agencies to churches willing to meet critical needs. As slated to do so in the organization’s strategic plan, Valerie stepped up to lead the ministry in 2018. She and her husband are foster parents in addition to being a Safe Families for Children Host Family, showing great compassion for children and youth in need of short and long term care as well as a shared commitment with the families in our network.

Judy Holmes

Director of Family Services
judy@helponechild.org

Judy has been with the ministry since 1998, working directly with its network families of prospective and existing foster/adoptive parents, biological families in temporary crisis, and host families willing to provide short-term preventative care through the Safe Families for Children program. She connects families to the ministry’s full suite of support services, matching volunteers to meet needs, arranging donated goods, offering compassion and providing resources and solutions to individual challenges. Judy received her certification as a trainer in Trust-Based Relational Intervention (TBRI) following her training under Dr. Karyn Purvis. In addition, she has completed training with the Girls Educational Mentoring Services’ (GEMS) for empowering victims of sexual abuse and Question, Persuade, & Refer (QPR) for suicide prevention.

Danielle Pickard

Volunteer Coordinator
danielle@helponechild.org

Danielle joined the staff in 2016 and is an invaluable support to the ministry’s staff and families. She works closely with Ministry Leads and other key volunteers at churches, coordinating their involvement in the many events, programs, and donation drives that Help One Child oversees throughout the year. Driven by her years of experience organizing short-term mission trips with her church Danielle loves to see the people engaged and serving. With a background studying biology her training in managing details has made her the perfect fit to oversee our complex and multi-tiered programing. Her radiant smile, unique sense of humor, and compassionate servant heart are a welcome relief to every client, visitor and coworker.

Board of Directors

Jay Chesavage

Board Chair

Jay and his wife Pam and have been foster parents for ~13 years (12 kids for stays ranging from 2 weeks to 10 years in our home), adoptive parents of one for 15 years, and most of our kids have moved on to successful adulthood in various forms. Jay brings a complete understanding of the position of foster parents served by Help One Child who have found themselves cornered for time and exhausted in their efforts.  An engineer by training and through the first half of his professional career, after becoming an adoptive and foster parent found our hard to explain emergencies (or running out of parent bandwidth) didn’t mesh with startup life. Jay has now expanded his patent practice as a solo patent agent for clients in Silicon Valley.

Mark and JoAnne Morris

Co-Founders

While providing a foster home for 5 young foster children, we discovered the vast need for caring foster parents and for support services for both the parents and the children. Later, through the adoption of children who could not return to their biological families, we saw the need to provide parents with understanding and training to help address the fear and sadness that foster and adopted children often carry with them into adulthood.

Prior to establishing Help One Child as a 501(c) non-profit and volunteering their time to establish the ministry, Mark retired from a career in engineering management. Jo Anne, a former real estate broker and industry leader, had retired earlier to be a stay-at-home mother.

Helen Gee Matsumoto

Helen brings her 25 years of experience working for the Department of Family and Child Services for Santa Clara County. 24 years specifically working in the Adoption Program, assessing prospective adoptive parents and finalizing adoptions.  She has a passion for children to have a loving home and has found a home serving on Help One Child’s Board of Directors supporting efforts to further its mission and protect its values.

Cristin Winn Reyes

Through close neighborhood playmates and formative friendships during adolescence, Cristin was exposed to both foster care and adoption. This placed a calling to foster and possibly adopt in her heart, which came to fruition in 2015. Shortly after being approved, Cristin and her husband Chris welcomed three foster children into their home one at a time, becoming a family of five in less than a month! In addition to Cristin’s personal experience as a foster or adoptive parent, she brings 20 years of professional ministry in the nonprofit sector.

Eric Miller

Eric is an engineer by training and retired from a career in construction and engineering management where he managed large building projects, accounting systems, and implementation of information technology. He was introduced to the ministry through Menlo Church’s volunteer opportunities supporting foster children and has a commitment to the mission of Help One Child.  Since raising three daughters, he and his wife Suzan have spent decades working with organizations helping families dealing with adolescent development and at-risk youth.

Sarah Dodson

Sarah and Jake are married with two children, 9 and 11. She was born and raised in a ministry family within the bay area. After attending the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington Sarah returned to the bay area. She began working with youth ministry at Peninsula Bible Church in Palo Alto, where she served for over a decade. From there Sarah has committed her time to the non-profit sector either through employment or volunteering. She brings a wealth of knowledge and experience and as well as her critical perspective as a foster-adopt mom.

Yanira Guzman

A native of the San Francisco East Bay, Yanira Guzmán is a speaker, career strategist, and workforce development expert. Upon graduating from UC Berkeley with a BA in Sociology and an MA in Education from San Francisco State University, Yanira spent 8 years as a Spanish bilingual teacher and literacy coach in two different school districts within the San Francisco Bay Area before moving onto the University of California system. She then successfully pivoted to become a corporate trainer for a top 50 Forbes company, training customers on software products, enabling internal sales team, as well as serving as a consultant for the Latin America educational technology sector.  On her downtime, Yanira Guzmán spends her time running around and laughing as much as possible (albeit very loudly sometimes) with her two children.

Advisory & Legacy Board

Susan Herman

Executive Director Emeritus

Susan led the ministry of Help One Child from 2005-2017. She was instrumental in increasing the organization’s following and funding to allow for the expansion of its programs and services as well as the creation of more than 3,000 service opportunities offered each year in support of its network families. After over twelve years of service, Susan retired as Executive Director but remains a staunch supporter of the ministry and an advisor to both its staff and Board of Directors.

Dan and Judi Van Elderen

Dan and Judi Van Elderen, acknowledged by all who know them as two of the most giving and generous souls, certainly exemplify a “Long Obedience.” Over the past 32 years, 71 children have been blessed by their loving commitment to foster care. Their wisdom and 12 years of active involvement on our Board of Directors was a great blessing to Help One Child. In 2019 they transitioned to our Advisory and Legacy Board continuing to support the ministry and provide leadership.

Education & Training

Linda Ikeda, RN, LMFT

  • Private Practice, Saratoga, CA
  • California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists
  • Christian Association of Psychological Studies
  • Association for the Training and Treating of Attachment in Children (ATTACH)
  • Help One Child Board Member (2005-2008)
  • Help One Child Parent Child Connection Instructor
  • Training for Parenting Seminars
  • Trainer/Author, “Created to Belong”

Dr. Don Williams, PsyD

  • Private Practice, Palo Alto, CA
  • Help One Child Parent Child Connection Instructor
  • Instructor/Trainer for Help One Child’s Re-Set Day
  • Lead Team Trainings for Signs of Hope Camp and
  • Power Life Skills Programs
  • Trainer/Author, “Wise and Skillful Parent” Parenting Seminar Series