Two small words, but they mean so much to us. Since our beautiful girl with the radiant, contagious smile was taken from us last fall, people have astounded us with their thoughtfulness and generosity in Kelli’s name.
Kelli’s name is, in fact, now inextricably linked with those willing to help others in some way. It is fitting that so many people—of all ages, literally all over the world—have come together to not only support our family, but to raise funds so that others many benefit. After all, our Kelli Joy was always helping others, whether teaching and playing with children, giving her time and talent to schools, teams and clubs or simply asking someone sitting alone at a nearby lunch table to come join her and her friends. Her energy and goodness were boundless.
Just as her smile was easily spread from person to person and was so memorable to those who met her, people’s generosity of spirit after Kelli’s passing has been amazing in its reach and scope.
You hung miles’ worth of white ribbons on trees. You comforted us and showed our strength as a community by lining the streets and holding hands during our long ride to lay our Kelli to rest. You spelled out her name and initials all over town. You sent us cards, brought us meals, mailed us angels and so very much more in gestures of support that we truly took to heart and appreciate every day.
In Kelli’s name, you have ensured her legacy by raising funds for the Kelli Joy O'Laughlin Memorial Scholarship Fund. Thank you to all of those who bought a bracelet, t-shirt, ticket or other item to build that fund so that we may award scholarships to young people who exemplify what Kelli stood for throughout her life.
There is no way to thank you individually, especially since there have been literally thousands of donations and many of them have been anonymous. But please know that we appreciate everything everyone has done for us over the past several months.
April 2 was Kelli’s birthday and we marked that day with another celebration in which many friends, neighbors, classmates, and other members of our community came together in a park to celebrate her most beautiful soul and spirit. It was also another way for us, as Kelli’s family, to remember and honor her while being surrounded by people who continue to give of themselves through their ongoing support and love.
Just as Kelli will never, ever be forgotten, neither will your kindness. Again, two small words that are as meaningful as Kelli Joy’s life and legacy: THANK YOU!
Brenda and John, Ryan, Melissa, Norah, Bridgette and Daniel