Cherish All Children Staff
Joy McElroy became Executive Director of Cherish All Children in October 2017, transitioning the organization into Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota. Prior to that, Joy was a Cherish All Children educator, engaging churches in the Saint Paul Area Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) to prevent child sexual exploitation. She has over 25 years of leadership experience in business, education and church organizations. Her life’s work has focused on serving and raising up individuals, including a 10 year teaching position at the Promise Program for women seeking self-sufficiency, and creating, implementing, and leading an ELCA program “Youth Leadership in the City.”
Joy holds a master’s degree in Human Resources from the University of Minnesota, with a focus on training and development. She lives in Saint Paul, Minnesota with her family, attending Christ Lutheran on Capitol Hill where they are active in many youth and community activities.
Volunteers and Partnerships
Cherish All Children’s work happens through the engagement of volunteers and staff with partner churches and community groups. Some churches have Cherish All Children teams, the Saint Paul Rotary Club has an Ending Human Trafficking committee working with Cherish All Children, and Women of the ELCA groups have been actively working to end child sexual exploitation in partnership with Cherish All Children since its beginning.
LSS Metro Homeless Youth Services Staff
Cherish All Children serves within Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota's (LSS) Metro Homeless Youth Services. Our prevention work joins with this amazing staff who support young people by providing housing, advocacy and independent living skills to help youth on their journey towards stability and healthy futures.
Cherish All Children Advisory Board
Our Advisory Board assists with the overall strategy and mission. They also work on fundraising events throughout the year, supporting this intiative to keep children safe from sexual exploitation and trafficking.
Pastor Liz Eide
Pastor Liz Eide serves at Lutheran Church of Peace in Maplewood, Minnesota. She joined the Cherish All Children Advisory Board in May, 2021.
Gay Gonnerman, Advisory Board Chair
Gay was inspired to become involved in the work against sex trafficking by a performance of Body and Sold by the Chain Reaction Theatre in 2017. She realized how vulnerable our children are to predatory exploitation. She draws on her experience as Development Officer with The Food Group to support and grow the ministry of Cherish All Children. Gay is a member of Lutheran Church of Christ the Redeemer in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where she is also the part-time Children’s Education Director.
Kay Kinkel is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (LICSW) providing individual and family therapy to adults and children as a contracted therapist with LSS of MN. Kay graduated with a Master of Social Work Degree from the University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA. She has experience providing mental health support to individuals struggling with serious persistent mental illness (SPMI) and trauma as well as anxiety, depression and relationship issues. She also has a Master of Arts degree from the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago and more than 25 years of parish and synodical ministry in the ELCA. Outside of her professional work, Kay enjoys time with friends and family, involvement in her local congregation, St. John's Lutheran Church in Shakopee, and baking and cooking.
As she was planning an early retirement from Thrivent Financial, Gwen was looking for ways to live out her faith by using her gifts to serve others. Since joining the board of Cherish All Children five years ago, she has seen tremendous progress in the awareness of sex trafficking and how prayer, education, and community action leads to prevention. She is also serving on the LSS Foundation Board, and on another community board. Gwen is active at Mount Calvary Lutheran Church in Excelsior, Minnesota.
Jill joined our Advisory Board May, 2020. Jill is the Confirmation and Youth Leader at Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Glenwood City, Wisconsin. (Photo and complete bio coming soon)
Kerry Ness, Secretary
Kerry supported Cherish All Children’s accounting functions for many years and supported this transition into LSS. He serves as Chief Accounting Officer for Citizens Alliance Bank. Kerry’s work with Cherish All Children serves to shed a light on the critical issue of child sexual exploitation, which is necessary for all children’s safety, and that of his nine precious grandchildren. Kerry attends Immanuel Lutheran Church in Eden Prairie, Minnesota.
Pastor Nathan Tuff
Pastor Nathan is lead pastor at Olivet Lutheran Church in Sylvania, Ohio. His more than 30 years of ordained ministry has led him to serve communities in Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin and Ohio. He has served with Cherish All Children for three years and has a passion for the battle against trafficking, especially the exploitation of vulnerable immigrant and refugee communities. He is one of our regular writers of our weekly Wednesday Prayer initiative to 900 subscribers.