A Heart for Mustard Seed: Anne Kelly and Traug Keller, Giving Day Matching Donors


Anne Kelly and Traug Keller have been friends since they worked together at Disney in the 90s. Yet, it was their shared affinity for Mustard Seed Communities that led them to join forces to become Giving Day matching donors.

Traug’s connection with Mustard Seed first began after he embarked on a life-changing mission trip to Jamaica in 1991. He shares, “In the United States, children who were abandoned would have a place to go; but, that net isn’t there in some countries. I saw firsthand how Mustard Seed provides that safety net.”

Traug told Anne about his experience in Jamaica and she was inspired to take a transformative service trip of her own.  Anne recalls, “What resonated with me was that Mustard Seed was providing people with dignity. Along with food, shelter, and care, there is such a deep appreciation for the spirits of these children.” 

Since then, both Anne and Traug have continued to give their time, treasure, and talents to the organization. From painting cottages in Kingston, to giving generously year-over-year, to serving as longtime board members—Anne and Traug truly are Mustard Seed Champions.

Over the years, Anne (Vice President, Production Facilities Management and Operations, Netflix) and Traug (President, America Media) have played an instrumental role in the leadership of the organization. Both have served with their whole hearts on the board for over 20 years, lending expertise garnered from successful executive careers in corporate environments. For over a decade, Traug oversaw remarkable organizational development as the board chairperson.

Mustard Seed has grown to serve the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of more than 600 children with disabilities in the 45 years since its inception. “Watching MSC continue to grow in a number of locations has been important,” states Anne. “Particularly, the focus on the Formation Program has been a key area of expansion because it will sustain the organization’s mission for years to come.” Mustard Seed’s Formation program will make it possible for the organization to continue to provide for the spiritual needs of children with disabilities …for life.

One of the ways Mustard Seed has expanded is with the addition of Jacob’s Ladder, a home for adults with disabilities. When a child is enfolded into the Mustard Seed family, that child is given the promise that they won’t be abandoned again; therefore, a lifelong home is guaranteed for them. “It’s striking to see how Msgr. Gregory’s initial vision of providing for children with disabilities who have been abandoned on the streets of Kingston has evolved to a village for adults,” says Traug. “And so much more is being done for children with disabilities in additional countries because of Mustard Seed’s willingness to answer the call for help.”

Msgr. Gregory Ramkisoon, Mustard Seed Communities’ Founder greets Traug Keller on a visit to Jacob’s Ladder, MSC apostolate for adults with disabilities in Jamaica.

Out of their compassion for children with disabilities, Anne and Traug have generously answered the call to help by becoming Giving Day matching donors. Their conviction to truly make a difference in the lives of the most vulnerable is making a marked difference. With this sentiment in mind, Anne and Traug are calling on the kindness of others to support Mustard Seed Communities’ mission to shelter children with disabilities in Jamaica, Nicaragua, Dominican Republic, Zimbabwe, and Malawi. 

“Mustard Seed rescues children the world has forgotten about,” explains Traug. “It’s an enormous undertaking what they’re doing—feeding and bathing children, keeping the homes spotless—that requires donations in order to function.” 

This Giving Day, please consider donating to: give children with disabilities a safe home and ensure that no child under Mustard Seed Communities’ care will ever be abandoned again.