A Community of Volunteers in Action
Inspired by the resilience of youth who overcame the challenges of foster care, and the caring adults who helped them along the way, Rebecca Edwards and Christopher Chase were motivated to learn more about the foster care system. Becoming exposed to the trauma inherent in foster care, they were convicted by their faith to find ways to surround more youth with supportive community. Out of this exploration, they founded Braid Mission in 2014, with its unique team-based mentoring model.
At its core, Braid Mission is a community of more than 150 active volunteers. These volunteers represent a wide variety of backgrounds, ages, and interests. Every week they gather in teams to surround foster youth with hope, presence, recreation, and community. More than half of Braid’s youth have been matched for two years or longer.
Since its founding, Braid has educated and inspired thousands in the Bay Area and beyond with a message of hope, through outreach events, trainings, and collaborations with partner organizations like the Foster Youth Museum.
Rebecca has been a minister in the Episcopal Church for ten years, following many years of youth ministry and serving as a volunteer and board member for Big Brother Big Sister in her hometown of Chattanooga. These experiences formed some of the beliefs that guided Braid’s model: that all children deserve to be surrounded by adults who encourage and empower them, and that volunteers need supportive community to thrive.
Christopher Chase is an ordained clergy person in the Episcopal Church. Before founding Braid Mission in 2014 with his colleague Rebecca Edwards he worked in ministries in Massachusetts, East Tennessee, and San Diego. Underlying this work is the unshakable belief that each individual carries a unique understanding and experience of the Divine that needs to be heard, expressed, appreciated, and incorporated into the collective.
Lisa feels energized to be working with Braid Mission as a part-time administrator. In her off time, she enjoys RV-ing in a big aluminum tube on wheels with her family all over the country (an Airstream trailer). She also appreciates the many joys of being a grandparent, playing with her young granddaughters and watching them grow!
Volunteer Team Facilitators
Patricia DepanteVolunteer Team Tacilitator
Patricia (aka Patty) works as an Accounting Operations Manager in Toronto, Canada. During her free time she loves traveling to any location with a beach, watching anime, working out, playing piano, and taking naps.
Kellie TaylorVolunteer Team Facilitator
Kellie lives in Walnut Creek and was raised in Danville. She was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 2006. This diagnosis has forced her to leave the corporate world but has allowed her to volunteer with foster/adoptive and youth organizations in Contra Costa County. When not volunteering, she enjoys going to the movies, enjoying her huge extended family, and traveling.
Elli BrimbleVolunteer Team Facilitator
Elli is a Canadian who has lived in San Francisco since 2016. A genetic counselor by training, Elli is a passionate advocate for rare disease research and has worked in both clinical and industry settings to shorten diagnostic odysseys and increase access to clinical data. Outside of work, she enjoys yoga, exploring the surrounding nature and its inhabitants (especially raptors) and learning more about viniculture.
Jonathan OringherVolunteer Team Facilitator
Jonathan lives in San Francisco with his husband and their young daughter. He is a Psychologist and enjoys hiking and exploring the Bay Area.
Andy MaagVolunteer Team Facilitator
Andy works as a massage therapist with the Care Through Touch Institute and also teaches guitar lessons. He is also currently in graduate school studying counseling psychology. He enjoys reading and learning new things, meditation, science fiction, cooking, and spending time outdoors alone and with friends.
Blaire Wolf-BowenVolunteer Team Facilitator
Barie joined Braid as a mentor in 2016 and has remained on as a group facilitator despite moving to Los Angeles in 2021. She has held many roles in the nonprofit world and is currently Assistant Board Secretary at the J. Paul Getty Trust. In her free time she likes to explore nature, go to art shows, see live music, and practice yoga.
Mike ThomasVolunteer Team Facilitator
Mike lives in Marin and is retired after working for 40 years as a counselor, teacher, and coach at St. Ignatius School. He spends time volunteering at Guide Dogs for the Blind, in a first grade class at Vallecito School, and as a coach at Hamilton Meadow School. He loves to run, mountain bike, play tennis, and play basketball when he is not helping to care for his grandchildren.
Emily SalmanVolunteer Team Facilitator
Emily works in finance as a sales manager in the Financial District. She enjoys yoga, running, watching football, and playing with her dog.
Lila RasekhVolunteer Team Facilitator
Lila lives in San Francisco and works as the head of scale abuse at Google Play. She enjoys traveling, hiking, biking, yoga, art, music, reading books, and watching movies.
Carol PassmoreVolunteer Team Facilitator
Carol just moved to San Francisco in 2019 after working for 20+ years as a psychotherapist in Connecticut. She is married and a mother of two adult sons who she hopes will follow her out here! She launched an online parenting coaching business during the pandemic. She loves children and helping parents navigate the tricky world of parenting!
Suchi O’ConnorVolunteer Team Facilitator
Suchi moved to San Francisco from the east coast in 2011 and fell in love with the city. After spending a decade in marketing and sales management, she recently shifted her focus to parenting and family support services. Suchi enjoys volunteering and currently serves on the board of directors of San Francisco Court Appointed Special Advocates. She likes spending time outdoors with her husband and children, playing board games, cooking, and traveling.
Efrat LibkindVolunteer Team Facilitator
Efrat lives in San Francisco by the ocean and loves to go on long walks along the beach. She loves small furry animals like rabbits and chinchillas, watching funny comedies, and reading science fiction books.
Claire KrukowskiVolunteer Team Facilitator
Claire moved to San Francisco from Michigan in 2015. Since she has lived in San Francisco, she has worked for San Francisco Unified School District supporting special education teachers in their professional growth through professional development and one-on-one coaching. While in the Bay Area, she enjoys evenings at the Exploratorium, walks through Golden Gate Park, reading and spending time with friends. Her favorite thing to do is traveling to different locations and learning about what makes them special.
Bob KosslerVolunteer Team Facilitator
Bob is an Interim Rector at Transfiguration Episcopal Church in San Mateo. He retired from Hewlett Packard Enterprise in 2019 to dedicate time to full-time ministry. Bob brings 18 years of pastoral care experience to Braid Mission, along with almost 40 years working in engineering in Silicon Valley.
Stacy HartmannVolunteer Team Facilitator
Stacy was born and raised in the Bay Area and has two children. She works in the mortgage industry and enjoys her time being a mother, hiking, reading and practicing yoga. She enjoys giving back to her community and also volunteers with the SF/Marin Food Bank.
Regina FletcherVolunteer Team Facilitator
Regina has taught in public and private schools at the 3rd, 5th, and middle school grade levels and is passionate about supporting the holistic growth of youth through teaching, tutoring, and mentoring. When not working with youth professionally or as a volunteer, she supports racial justice campaigns, takes aerial dance classes, and pet sits for friends and family.
Tami FisherVolunteer Team Facilitator
Tami lives in Pacifica and works as a lawyer in San Francisco. She enjoys art, reading (especially graphic novels), and baking.
Anne CockleVolunteer Team Facilitator
Anne lives in Berkeley with her husband, son, cat and dog. She does not work outside the home these days but keeps busy with her son, volunteering at school and managing the home. She likes having meals with her friends/family, spending time with her animals and being outside in the garden, walking or bike riding.
Wendy CliffVolunteer Team Facilitator
Wendy has enjoyed being a middle school teacher, creative marketing professional in the magazine business, and now an interfaith chaplain working in the field of trauma. She’s in love with her husband, two adult children, neurotic dog, all things food-related, and being outdoors hiking long distances (i.e. 200-500 miles).
Krystle ChowVolunteer Team Facilitator
Krystle is an accountant and lives in San Francisco with her awesome cat. She is happy to be part of the Braid community and support youth in foster care which is a cause dear to her heart. She enjoys trying new recipes, doing Pilates, learning about music, hiking, beaches, and listening to audiobooks.
Davidson Bidwell-WaiteVolunteer Team Facilitator
Davidson is a deacon in the Episcopal Church. His work career included jobs in city government, legal practice, and management. In his retirement, he spends his time working against gun and police violence and human trafficking, and in support of foster youth and Haiti. He loves ballet and traveling and walking around the City.
Jessica Barbervolunteer team facilitator
Jessica is a lawyer, but she loves having fun too. She likes to bake and decorate cupcakes, loves shopping for fruits and vegetables at the market, likes walking the city and adventuring around town, and loves being active (playing sports that she’s not good at!).