Ginny Deuschle Celebrates Anniversary of Centers for Youth & Families

Founded in 1884 as the Children’s Aid Society by Elizabeth Latta Mitchell, CFYF remains close to the hearts of her descendents, and many of them are still very involved in the organization and the board. One such family member is Elizabeth Mitchell’s great, great granddaughter, Ginny Deuschle.

Born and raised in Little Rock, Deuschle graduated from Central High School and went on to attend the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, where she met her husband, John. “We were at a mutual friend’s house for an out-of-town Razorback game-watching party,” she said. “At halftime, everybody went outside to play flag football. John was captain and picked me to be on his team. I happened to catch a touchdown pass, and we’ve been together ever since.” The couple has four daughters: Starr, 12; Lila, 10; and eight-year-old twins, Blakeslee and Hollis.

Her parents are Frances Mitchell Ross and the late Bob Ross, and her grandparents are the late Mr. and Mrs. William Starr Mitchell and the late Mr. and Mrs. George Raymond Ross. She has an older brother, Mitchell Ross, and a younger sister, Mary Starr Brock, both of whom have been involved with CFYF for years.

“For as long as I can remember,” Deuschle said, “both of my parents and my grandparents were involved in many community organizations, including Centers for Youth and Families. I remember as a teenager borrowing my dad’s car and then giving him rides to The Centers’ meetings. He served on The Centers’ board for many years, beginning when it was the Elizabeth Mitchell Children’s Center. He was president of the board of directors and also provided The Centers with legal work. My grandmother, Virginia Mitchell, also served on the Elizabeth Mitchell Children’s Center board, including a term as chairman.”

“My parents have been thrilled that a family member has always served on The Centers’ board. I am thrilled and honored to serve on both Centers’ boards with so many wonderful people who do and give so much to benefit children and their families.”

Over the past 125 years, CFYF has evolved from a refuge for abandoned and neglected children to a family agency offering a wide range of services for children and their families, including specialized prevention, intervention and treatment services that promote emotional and social wellness for children and families in Arkansas.

“For example,” said Deuschle, “there is a program designed to work with children of parents in prison to help break the cycle of intergenerational incarceration. We have in-patient programs for children with behavioral health needs. There is Elizabeth Mitchell Children’s Center Shelter for homeless children and children who have been removed from their homes, and a Parent Resource center that is available to all parents to help with just about any child-rearing need. The Centers has gone from serving a few in 1884 to now serving more than 8,000 children and families a year. Through a recent merger, The Centers provides additional services, including programs for the elderly, to truly build healthy children, families and communities.”

CFYF is always in need of willing volunteers to operate successfully.

According to Deuschle, volunteer opportunities can range from mentoring children, assisting with fundraisers and special events, organizing holiday parties for the children, rallying local schools to collect school supplies, and more.

“Donations are supplied in just as many forms as volunteer help,” she said. “There are individual cash and corporate donations, event sponsorships, giving and stock donations, grants, and in-kind donations, including but not limited to food, toiletries, clothing, luggage, services, artwork and auction items.”

One way to get involved is by attending or participating in CFYF’s annual art auction, “Splatters: Another Fun Mess!” This year’s event will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 11 at Pleasant Valley Country Club. Tickets are $60 per person and will benefit CFYF’s general fund to continue operating the organization’s health and wellness programs.

(For more information about CFYF or “Splatters!,” call 666-9436, or visit


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