[July 28, 2020: Greenville News]
A campaign is underway in Greenville to symbolize the community's gratitude for the past, present and future, with a six-foot bronze sculpture.
The sculpture is known as the Tree of Compassion, and one of its goals is to inspire more people to live a life of compassion.
Friends of Compassion is raising at least $60,000 for the sculpture project rendered by Greenville sculptor Philip Whitley.
The Tree of Compassion is a vision of Gwen Goad, a native of Sri Lanka, an author/illustrator, pioneer of Greenville's only tuition-free Montessori School for economically disadvantaged families, and founder of the Montessori Education Center.
The sculpture will be placed in Heritage Green, on property owned by the Greenville County Library.
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In a written statement, Goad shared how Greenville has long been a reminder to her of Sri Lanka with its "greenery, mountains and the International Girl Guides and Girl Scout ties" that attracted her to this Upstate city decades ago.
"An open-minded community embraced me as one of their own," she wrote.
"Our Upstate community, whenever challenged, unites with compassion in support of local, national and international emergencies and causes," wrote Goad, who served as the last South Carolina Volunteer State representative to the U.S. Committee for UNICEF..... MORE