It is with sadness that The Mustard Seed of Central Florida announces the passing of Carol Kane. Carol founded The Mustard Seed in 1984, and officially incorporated the mission into a nonprofit in 1988. Carol saw all who experienced homelessness simply as God’s children in need of assistance, and during the organizations first official year of service, the agency served 99 families. Founded out of her garage, Carol sought to ensure every child had a bed to sleep on. Carol oversaw the building of the facility in 1999, and continued to serve with The Mustard Seed until 2010. “Her whole heart and soul went into The Mustard Seed,” states her daughter, Susan Constantine. Ms. Constantine has shared the following:
Celebrating the Life of Carol Kane
August 6, 1938 – October 2, 2022
“Moving Mountains” describes Carol Kane, the founder of the Mustard Seed Furniture Bank of Central Florida. Having the gift of faith, this mighty woman of God exemplified how to turn life’s tragedies into triumphs. Carol always felt in her heart that God called on her to do more for people. She had seemingly impossible obstacles of her own—widowed with five children at age 40 and working two waitress jobs to make ends meet. But when she encountered families in dire need—homeless due to a house fire or a hurricane, sometimes living in a car—Carol decided to fast and to pray to hear God’s voice.
“If you have faith as small as a mustard seed you could move mountains.” Carol’s great grandmother passed down to her a small glass pendant with a mustard seed with this inscription from Carol’s favorite scripture:
“Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you” Matthew 17:20.
When Carol prayed, three words came: Find a location, advertise, and get a truck. Carol did just that! And more than 30 years ago, the “Faith of Mustard Seed” became the foundation of Carol’s ministry. With the Holy Spirits calling, Carol was appointed for the task of helping families of all ethnicities, faiths, and economic status who had experienced personal tragedy or had lost everything due to unforeseen circumstances. Carol built her mission on the beliefs that no family should go without a bed to sleep in, and that everyone deserves to live in an environment that feels like home.
After just a few years, the Mustard Seed organization became so large that it outgrew its original location. Through the grace of God, a four story, 20,000 square foot building was birthed debt-free in Central Florida, and became the Mustard Seed’s new home. Over the decades that followed, the Mustard Seed families helped more than 1,500 families a year make a fresh start in rebuilding their lives with comfort and dignity.
The news of Carol’s work spread, and caught the attention of Washington, D.C. In 1992, Carol was one of four recipients, nominated from a group of 46,000, to win the prestigious Jefferson Award. Founded in 1972 by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and others, the Jefferson Award is a recognition of extraordinary achievement in public service. Over the past five decades, the Jefferson Award has been given to an unparalleled list of national figures — both public and private — more than 63,000 unsung heroes, and tens of thousands of employees and young people in communities across the country. Today, Carol’s legend is still alive and thriving, and the Mustard Seed has expanded to three locations across the country.
The promise of God is for everyone. When things seemed impossible or too big to overcome, Carol would think about how the tiniest of mustard seeds can grow into a tree. She believed that anyone who planted her faith in Him could move mountains. Not only did Carol help so many people, but she was also living proof of women who could overcome adversity when they loved the Lord with all their hearts.
Carol has ascended into Heaven to be with her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, leaving her mortal body for heavenly wings. Surviving Carol is her loving and devoted husband, and the wind beneath her wings for 43 years, John Kane. Also surviving Carol are her seven children—Susan, Cindy, Cheryl, David, Steven, Ted, and Chris—nine grandchildren, and 14 great grandchildren.
Although we all mourn her passing, Carol’s legacy of life will be imprinted in our hearts forever and ever. Christians never say “goodbye,” but instead, “I will see you again soon!”