about us
we connect children to the community through volunteering

We know that volunteering and giving back helps in many ways. It helps others feel compassion when they need it most. But perhaps most of all, it helps the person doing the work.

Service to others is something everyone is capable of. It unites humans. We see the commonalities in each other while celebrating our differences. What’s better than that?

When is a better time to start giving back than in our impressionable childhood years? Before cell phones take over, before bigotry is learned, before we start harshly judging others who are different than we are. Now is the time to transform the way we perceive the world and the people in it.

Volunteering early in life builds a foundation of kindness and empathy. It moves us from a “me first” mentality to one of cooperation. As we care for others, we nurture ourselves most of all.

Children build valuable life skills through volunteering like team work, communication, kindness, leadership, compassion, and cooperation. These skills transcend beyond personal relationships into academic life, and future professional endeavors.

As children develop these soft skills they look at the world and the people in it differently, from a perspective of compassion and kindness.

Imagine a world where we care about and are connected to each other.

“Everybody can be great because anybody can serve.” 

– Martin Luther King Jr
we value
Developing strong, confident children who appreciate others and our environment
Connecting humans through conscious acts of kindness, realizing we all need help sometimes.
Experiencing the beauty of our local communities, feeling gratitude for all we have.
our mission
“Our mission is to create unity through service early in life
what are children learning?
soft skills for behavioral and academic success

Leaders are those who create an inspiring vision of the future, who aren’t afraid to stand up for positive change. Effective leaders motivate others they come in contact with to be their best selves.



Volunteering builds a foundation of kindness to others, and helps us realize there are ample opportunities to be kind. Kindness is infectious, when we do good for others we receive more kindness, and the world becomes a better place to be.

We all have struggles sometimes, whether human or animal. There’s nothing like helping others in need to develop deep empathy and appreciation for what we have, translating to less stress and better relationships.



Working hand in hand with others, children begin to understand the value of teamwork. Knowing that great things can never be done in isolation. We all need each other to accomplish big goals.

Instead of groaning and and complaining about chores, what if children felt the satisfaction of accomplishing something monumental? The path to freedom and happiness is through discipline and hard work.

work ethic


Volunteering involves working with people from all walks of life. Through diverse interactions, we gain valuable abilities to communicate and collaborate with others who are different than we are. A wider perspective benefits us all.

Why the pelican?

Pelicans are highly social creatures, relying on each other for group hunting. They remind us to work peacefully with others to achieve a common goal.

They symbolize social responsibility, teamwork, charity, strength in community, generosity, and friendliness.

Our team


Craig Morris

Ground Game Guru
aka Program Director

Co-founder of Holy City Children, Craig tackles the logistics of the Holy City Children program in the field. He is a lover of people and nature. He first developed his passion for helping others and immersing himself in nature through the Boy Scouts of America. Raised in Newnan, Georgia, (a suburb of Atlanta strapped with culture and diversity) he learned to appreciate the differences among his peers. Craig has resided in the Charleston area for over a decade and adores its people and its breath-taking beauty.

He has been a part of many volunteer opportunities in the area including Lunch Buddy Programs, School Mentoring, working on lands and farm with the Land Trusts, and serving food to the homeless at One80 shelter in Downtown Charleston. When he’s not serving others, you can find him camping, playing guitar, golfing, surfing, or attending live music performances.



Air Game Conductor
aka Executive Director

Clarese is co-founder of Holy City Children, handling the strategy and setup of Holy City Children from behind her CPU control panel. Her professional background is in software development. She balances the tech world with the solace she finds in nature. She has been actively pursuing the path to a happier and more fulfilled life for the past several years and has found the single most rewarding act is to be of service to others. By helping others, we help ourselves.

For fun, Clarese enjoys exploring other cultures, spending time with the ocean, practicing aerial silks, biohacking, yoga, breath work, and meditation. She has been in the IT world for 20+ years and has decided to use her expertise in software development, research, and user experience design to encourage children to find joy in new experiences and service to others. She believes helping our children help themselves will have a cascading effect in our local communities and the world.



Alex opoulos

Team Captain
aka Board Chair

Alex was drawn to Holy City Children because of his love of service and improving the lives of children. He is founder of Objectivity Squared Wealth Management and has been working within financial services for 25+ years.  He is a past board member and finance officer for 180 Place, the largest homeless shelter in South Carolina as well as Think Tec, a Charleston Chamber of Commerce initiative to support technology businesses. He served multiple terms on the Board of Wings for Kids and currently works with Social Venture Partners-Charleston, a partnership that collectively invest their expertise and financial resources in mission driven nonprofits to achieve sustainable, measurable impact. 

Outside of the of the office he enjoys tennis, golf, surfing, cycling and coaching his kids athletic teams. He’s passionate about finding the right balance between family, personal, professional and community responsibilities and how they interrelate. His home is in Charleston, with his wife Monica and children, Max (15) and Maya (12).