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Friends of Compassion

Compassion is a purpose uniting values that treat all human beings with respect.

The dedication of

the Tree of Compassion
will take place on

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

at 10 a.m.
on the site of the Hughes Library
at Heritage Green

in downtown Greenville, South Carolina.

Click here to RSVP for the unveiling ceremony.

Think of others.

Diversity of Thought

Acceptance & Friendship

Peace & Understanding 

Kindness & Goodwill


An important moment in time


"Although we had no idea at the time, our relationship with the Tree of Compassion began when our children were enrolled in Gwen Goad's Montessori  Education Center. It grew when our children's grandparents attended the presentations and international festivals that all the children participate in.

My husband's parents even became the school grandparents!

And now, the fourth generation is born. Our children's children are busy becoming kind, sharing people, in part because their parents were taught compassion in their formative years by Gwen Goad.

In honor of these generations, we pledge $400.00 to the Tree of Compassion."

— Jim and Sharon Campbell



Friends of compassion was born of a community spirit. We are your friends and neighbors. The Friends of Compassion span generations and attempt daily to make decisions guided by kindness, gratitude, reason, and compassion.



Dear Gwen —

Last evening is a memory to be treasured. It was filled with meaning and memories. Surely you went off to New York to receive a merited award, floating on a cloud of assurance of love and support from your many friends here, your extended family.

Your delightful play, timely recognition of Myra, and her contributions were just the right prelude to the beautiful tributes your mother (and you) and to Sara. Our memories of these gallant women were reawakened. They are treasured even more as we were reminded of the worthiness of their lives.

Thank you, Gwen, for all the significant events you foster, for giving us the opportunity, in a respectful way, to honor these stalwart women of the past, and you, a stalwart woman of the present. 

My love,


May 22, 1991


The six-foot bronze Tree of Compassion, rendered by Greenville sculptor Philip Whitley, will be an icon of unity. The two stylized branches reach one another without touching the trunk, representing the community oneness of humanity, yet leaving space for individual growth, choice, and freedom. The branch on the left stands for our past elders whose wisdom and courage created the foundation we stand on today. The branch on the right stands for the torch carried forward by the current generation. Their individual commitment, resilience, and vision make our community both vibrant and prosperous. Lastly, the trunk holds three leaves: the past and present together cradle the center leaf - our legacy, our future. 



In tribute to the achievements of Greenville and its people for thoughtfulness, the Tree of Compassion is a symbol of our city’s collective human spirituality. Why not combine our community’s humanity and goodwill and reach for a higher plateau of compassionate thinking? This sculpture is our gift from the Friends of Compassion to the Greenville County Hughes Library.


Heritage Green is the ideal space for this particular sculpture and what it represents for Greenville. A reminder of our common aspirations, our history, and a permanent symbol of our shared humanity.

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The unveiling of the bronze Tree of Compassion

is scheduled for July 2021 at the site in front of the Hughes Library.