Changing Young Children's
Lives For Good

Who We Are

Deborah Johnson, Ph.D. 
Chief Executive Officer. 

Dr. Johnson has spent 25 years designing, managing and evaluating child-related social service, medical and health programs. From 2002 to 2006, Dr. Johnson was the International Director for Children’s Programs for Feed The Children. In addition to launching school-based feeding programs that now serve 122,000 children, she ran a large center for abandoned babies and for children with disabilities. Dr. Johnson consults with a number of child-focused nonprofit organizations and school districts throughout the U.S. Her Ph.D. is from Stanford University. Email:

John Olson
Special Projects Director
Olson has been involved in the DoorStep Gardens project since its inception, initially piloting bags in California and then setting up the bag garden in the Kiandutu compound. Born and raised in Kansas, he is a practicing attorney in Newport Beach, California, and a life-long gardener. Email:

Laura and Alex Bennett 
Creative Directors

The Bennetts are graphic designers and artists who have worked for clients such as Levis, Disney, Adidas, Sony, Sears, Warner Brothers, Speedo, Feed The Children, Quicksilver, MTV and others. Both have degrees from California State University Fullerton. Laura Bennett is well-known for her community service.

U.S. Board of Directors

Deborah Johnson, Ph.D. 
Board President and Chief Executive Officer
Dr. Johnson has been instrumental in creating, managing and evaluating school reform, parent education, literacy, feeding, social service, health, academic, and technology projects around the globe. She has degrees from Stanford University, Northwestern University and Swarthmore College.

Charmaine Alvarado
Board Secretary

Alvarado is a licensed clinical social worker with a Pupil Personnel Services Credential. A consultant and the mother of two small children, she is the CEO of Bundles of Books, a nonprofit dedicated to children’s literacy around the world. Alvarado has a master’s degree in social work from the University of Southern California.

Frances Williams
Board Treasurer

Williams is a retired social worker with the Orange County Dept. of Social Services with over 25 years of experience in children’s services, employment services, family services and refugee services. Since her retirement, Williams has been on the boards of a number of nonprofit organizations.

Melody McWilliams
Board member

McWilliams is Vice President of Operations for a large real estate company. She is responsible for overseeing strategic project management, business direction for technical developments and compliance and risk management processes. McWilliams has a master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Southern California with certificates in Finance and Real Estate.