Each year, we honor individuals and organizations that have gone above and beyond in making the world a better place for children. Our Champions for Children are below:

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Ruth Charles

Ruth first got involved with MCCC in 2014 when she was trained as an ACE Interface Presenter. She is a professor in the social work department at Winona State University. She is passionate about ensuring trauma-informed child welfare policies and practices and has catalyzed county-wide initiatives in Winona to build community resilience. Ruth was trained as an ACE Interface Master Trainer in 2017.


Tom Gonzalez

Tom was trained as an ACE Interface Presenter in 2014 and since that time has been raising awareness about childhood trauma and resiliency across Crow Wing County (and statewide), reaching over 4,000 people across a variety of sectors. His ability to educate and engage communities on issues related to trauma and resiliency led him to the role of a Self-Healing Communities Project Coordinator with Bridges of Hope in Crow Wing County, where he served until he moved to Wisconsin in 2019.


Shelley Jacobson

Shelley’s strategic leadership of MCCC through challenging times and times of growth over the past five years have been critical to the organization’s success. She worked tirelessly to build a strong organizational infrastructure (at MCCC and through the merger process) and she inspires staff to be their best every day.


Stacy Johnson

Stacy has demonstrated her commitment to MCCC’s mission in her leadership as Board Chair and as a member of MCCC’s Strategic Partnership Taskforce. She has given so much time, energy, and thoughtfulness in supporting MCCC through transition, and we are so grateful for her leadership as the Co-Chair of the merged Familywise board.


Gina Little

Gina first became involved with MCCC as a young mom in the Circle of Parents program in Faribault. She eventually started co-leading the parent support and education sessions, becoming a valued mentor to the weekly participants. Gina has a background in non-profit management and her passion to support families and advocate to end child maltreatment is an asset to her community.


Safeer Mirza

Safeer has served in several officer positions during his time on MCCC’s board, including Secretary and Treasurer. He consistently shows up for MCCC events, shares MCCC’s work with his network, and he has played an important role on the organization’s Strategic Partnership Taskforce.


Matthew Olson

Matt is a long-time volunteer and the Chair of MCCC’s Development Committee. He has consistently contributed his time, talent, and treasure to MCCC over the years and is a huge asset to our fundraising efforts.