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Jayna Kelley Memorial Foundation gives donation to foster care program

Published: Oct. 28, 2020 at 9:52 PM CDT
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CHIPPEWA FALLS, Wis. (WEAU) - Nearly two years ago Jayna Kelley was killed, along with two other girl scouts and one of their mothers, while cleaning trash alongside a Chippewa County road.

Jayna’s family decided to turn that tragedy into something positive in the form of a $10,000 donation to the Chippewa County Foster Care Program through the Jayna Kelley Memorial Foundation.

“It feels so good to give to something and to see all this appreciation for this. it makes it feel worth it instead of just taking money and keeping it to ourselves instead to give back. it makes us feel like Jayna’s death wasn’t all in vain and that’s really what keeps us going,” said Jayna’s Mom and Foundation Board Member Robin Kelley.

The donation made Wednesday also included backpacks, blankets, and more.

“We get sometimes blankets or we get tote bags around school time and we get school supplies and things like that and really that is essential, we don’t have money from the state for those extra things like that,” explained Chippewa County Child Protective Services Manager Kari Kerber.

The donation is especially meaningful for the foster care program, which has seen its workload increase during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Chippewa Co. DHS says it’s been forced to take 77 kids out of their home in Chippewa County this year, and in total the program works with about 150 children.

“We have taken a lot of kids into custody this year, a lot of it because of the pandemic. I think parents are just becoming more overwhelmed and overwhelmed,” said Kerber.

For the foundation, the Chippewa County Foster Care Program is one of six organizations board members are using to keep alive the memory of four people, including Jayna, gone too soon.

“She always loved little kids, was probably going to be a kindergarten teacher, was definitely going to be a mom. Had a very caring heart and for helping those in need also. We are in the process of becoming foster parents as well, we know Jayna if she was here would have supported that decision full heartedly and so to give this donation really means a lot to us,” said Kelley.

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