I would like to tell you about a woman I have come to admire tremendously, although I have never met her.
She is immensely brave, dedicated to her cause, and always carries herself with dignity and courtesy. She has helped change laws in America, has appeared on television, on radio, and at public rallies all over the States. I suspect, however, that she would prefer to live forever in anonymity if it meant that the catalyst which propelled her to this fame had never happened.
You see, one day Kelly Jolkowski's son Jason stepped out of the house to put out the trash, and never came back in.
There was no evidence of foul play, and none of the usual things that accompany runaways. He has simply vanished. Since then, on top of dealing with her loss, Kelly (and her family) has campaigned tirelessly to help improve things for families who are living without the knowledge of what has happened to a loved one.
Kelly and her family set up Project Jason, which has the support of the '18 Wheel Angels' - drivers who carry images of missing persons all over the nation. They worked to help establish Jason's Law; establishing from that the Missing Person's Clearinghouse. Project Jason established the 'Adopt a Missing Person' campaign to provide assistance to other families in desperate need of getting information out about their loved ones. Kelly started a blog to highlight the terrible situations families find themselves in, and how they are preyed upon by self-interested vultures. The list goes on, and it can easily be seen that because of Kelly, and Project Jason, much has been done to help families of missing people.
The latest project for Kelly is a much more personal one, and just as deserving of support. I can't imagine what it must be like to live every day with such a gap that must be left when your son just vanishes. I can't imagine all the years spanning out without contact, or information, or closure. There is nothing in me that can begin to understand the highs and lows of such hope and disappointment. Recently many of us read about two separate cases of children returned alive to their families after years on lists of the missing. This must impact a family like Kelly's so much more intimately and intensely than the rest of us - how can that not lead them to hope for the same outcome, and soon? I know that Kelly prays, and I hope it brings her the strength and comfort she needs.
What she also needs, are resources. Her son was keen to get into the radio industry, after an internship with a local station. The latest project is hoping that should he currently be active in making a life for himself, he would be involved in a radio station somewhere. Project Jason has a list of radio stations, and an email template already written up, and all they need are volunteers to work through the list, sending in the email to various stations. It provides a photo, a vocal clip and an aged photograph of Jason, in the hopes that he might be recognised. If you have some time to spare, and the ability to copy, paste and send information to a subset of this list of stations, Project Jason would love to hear from you.
You can read about the project:
and volunteer by emailing your interest to:
Let's see if we can help bring Jason home, or at least get information to his family about what has happened to him in the past five years.