Making Lives Whole.

Palmer Home for Children is a faith-based organization that provides a family and community to children in need regardless of race, gender or background.

Palmer Home’s Mission

Palmer Home provides superior care for children while introducing the love of God through our service to each individual child. Palmer Home ensures restorative environments where children feel safe, connected and supported. Whether on campus or off, each child served by Palmer Home has a safe place to call home with trustworthy, supportive adults to guide them as they grow and develop into all that God created them to be. Palmer Home provides holistic care to each child based on their unique physical, emotional, spiritual and educational needs.

Whole Child Initiative

Our proprietary approach to care provides a trauma informed, holistic, and relationally centered foundation and guides all that we do. We seek to help vulnerable children overcome trauma and position them to thrive in home, school and community life. Whole Child Initiative operates through four core principles:

Whole Story

Children’s needs are best understood and met in the context of their history and the impact it has on their life. Taking into account their full story allows us to respond appropriately.

Whole Child

Children with a history of trauma have unique physical, emotional, educational, social, and spiritual needs. Each of these must be addressed for healing to begin.

Whole Team

A collaborative team of caregivers, staff, community professionals, and the child’s family members come together to develop a trauma responsive plan of care.

Whole Caregiver

Healthy relationships with children require healthy caregivers. We equip our caregivers with regular training, relevant resources, respite and ongoing support.

Leading By Example

Each member of the Palmer Home family plays a vital role in ensuring each child’s needs are met. Our staff and volunteers receive Whole Child Initiative training.

Meet Our Team

Drake Bassett

President And CEO

Drake Bassett, President and CEO of Palmer Home for Children, joined our family in 2012. For more than 20 years, he has worked with organizations to improve performance and achieve goals. In addition to his experience as CEO, he has held leadership roles as Chief Operating Officer and Chief of Human Resources at Nielsen Corporation. Drake thrives on building great relationships with staff, community, and clients. In his time at Palmer Home, Drake has launched a number of innovative programs, and he is constantly evaluating how we can better rescue and restore the lives of vulnerable children. Drake has been married to his wife, Kelley, for 32 years. They have four children and four grandchildren.

Kristin Budzak

VP, Marketing & Communications

Brittany Connor

Financial Comptroller

Jessica Corley

VP, Development

Whit Lewis

VP, Children's Programs

Melissa Mowrey

Director, HR

Lauren Strickland

Director, Whole Child Initiative

Anna Brooke Warren

VP, Compliance & Support

Board Members With a Mission

Meet our board members and see why the mission of Palmer Home is the same no matter who you ask.

Board Members

Board Members

Karen Carlisle


Carlisle Corporation

Memphis, TN

Robert H. Clark

Vice Chair

Clark Beverage Group

Starkville, MS

Trip Hairston


Nephrology Associates, PC

Columbus, MS

Alan Walters


First Commercial Bank

Jackson, MS

Amy Brown

Attorney - Sedgwick

Hernando, MS

Dolph Bryan

Retired Law Enforcement

Starkville, MS

Harold Clark

Clark Beverage Group

Starkville, MS

Tim Edmondson

Edmondson Farm

Vardaman, MS

Larry Edwards

Real Estate Development

Jackson, MS

Melinda George

IMC Companies, LLC

Memphis, TN

Charles Guest


Starkville, MS

Dr. Daryl Guest

Starkville Surgical Associates

Starkville, MS

Dr. Andrew Martin

Martin Oral & Facial Surgery

Starkville, MS

Tom McCann

Retired USAF Pilot

Peachtree, GA

Rick L. Powell

Harris, Madden & Powell Insurance

Memphis, TN

Dr. Russ Russell

Russell Orthodontics

Columbus, MS

George Sousoulas

Stephens, Inc.

Memphis, TN

Board Emeritus

Board Emeritus

Charles Berry

Columbus, MS

Dr. Robert R. Black

Tupelo, MS

Gray Flora, III

Oxford, MS

Jack Forbus

Starkville, MS

Dewitt Hicks

Columbus, MS

Rev. Thomas Kay, Jr.

Aliceville, AL

Charles McElroy

Starkville, MS

Everett C. Owens III

Aliceville, AL

Jon Reeves

Olive Branch, MS

Donald Sanders

Aliceville, AL

Lee Tyner

Oxford, MS