Miss Maudie is a neighbor, friend, and mentor to the children. She bakes them cakes, and talks with Scout when Jem and Dill won't play with her. She offers wisdom and humor, informing the children about the "foot-washing baptists" and other religious groups within the town. Miss Maudie also presents another example to the children of a fair-minded, non-judgmental adult. She instructs them not to believe everything they hear about the Radleys, and even expresses sorrow for the family. At the Missionary Circle meeting, she defends Atticus and puts the other gossiping ladies in their place, an act much appreciated by Aunt Alexandra and admired by Scout. In addition, Miss Maudie is playful with Atticus and Uncle Jack, further endearing her to the children.