10/06/05 The Clock Struck Midnight......
The first email of the day was news about a project we are working on behind the scenes with the help of some wonderful volunteers in Ohio. We'll be sharing this story with you in November, when this event occurs. The news in the email brought tears to my eyes because this project is already more than double in number than expectations. How appropriate that this email came today. This is great news for our families in terms of awareness for their missing loved ones.
The second email was a posting notification of a comment made on my last entry on Maura Murray's story.
I have been searching for the proper words to express to you my appreciation and gratitude for the heartfelt and touching manner in which you presented the story of Maura's missing.....It must surely seem odd to many that there are those of us who find ourselves very connected to the lives of others who are living some tragedy. It was a surprise to me to learn that Maura's missing is to you the female counterpart of Jason's missing, because I too have been drawn emotionally into Jason's case by the very same feelings. I pray frequently for both of them and all of us that love them......and so Dear Kelly, thank you for the words from your heart about Maura; thank you for all you have done for me, for Maura and her family; thank you for Project Jason; thank you for Jason's law; thank you for your compassion, strength and your conviction to help all of us that have a loved one missing. Thank your family for sharing you with us.
God bless you always.
Advocate for Maura Murray
The third email was from the grandfather of a missing person we work for telling me goodnight. We just started assisting him a few weeks ago, and have a number of things coming up soon to help him in his search. He's delightful to work with. He makes me laugh and then I make him laugh, even in the midst of our sadness. We then get back to work on our plans to help him. We'll be sharing his story on the blog soon.
The word about Jason's Law being in place now went out in a number of media outlets, and already someone in Nebraska has called for help! I will be getting in contact with this family soon. It's only day one of its known existence, and already, someone is receiving assistance.
This is what it's all about...why we are here.
Every single day, we get to make a difference in my son's name. The only greater joy than that would be to find him. Until then, and even afterwards, we will continue to follow the path laid out for us. We will continue to work to find solutions to resolve the puzzle of the missing. We'll continue to be there to guide and support these families in their time of need.
This day is about those whom we assist. I'm going to share their words as an anniversary card to us. I have added in a website address for each one so that you can find out more about their missing loved one if you are so moved. As awareness is one of our key benefits, we can't help but use this to bring attention for their missing loved one.
I'll share more of my thoughts and a recap of the past year with you on the next entry.
“I am grateful to Project Jason for all their support and assistance with the case of my missing mother, Norma "Dale" Massa. Until I heard about Project Jason, one of my many concerns was how to network with shelters in cities other than ours. I was elated to learn about one of their projects, "Come Home." I gave them the vital information about my mother and they took it from there. Shortly after that, there were posters of my mother in shelters all across the country. Something I never could have done on my own.
We had been unable to get media coverage for the last several months. Project Jason contacted our news stations and we had an interview in less than twenty-four hours. Because of their ability to connect with so many, it gives me peace to know our voice is finally being heard across the country. Words cannot express my gratitude for all their help. Thank you for being there for us.”
Laura LaScola, daughter of Norma "Dale Massa, Memphis, TN www.normamassa.com
“Project Jason has helped a lot with the search of my daughter Jennifer, helping with posters and guiding me where to obtain additional help. Their support has been awesome. Kelly always emails me if nothing else to help with keeping my faith up and the depression down. I am really pleased with their assistance. Most of the other sites lack the compassion that Project Jason has for the distraught families of the missing. Her warmth and tenderness is what has helped me keep it together this long. My daughter ran away in May of 2003, never to be found or heard from as of today. Project Jason and Kelly keeps me hopeful.”
Kathy Snyder, Mother of Missing Jennifer
“My mother has been missing since 1987. This has been a very long and hard road to walk alone. One day I was looking on the Internet and came the Project Jason website. Before talking to them, I was ready to give up in the search for my mother. I'm now feeling better and have strong hopes that I will find my mom after all.”
Debbie Hall, daughter of Ruth Hoffman Hall, missing from River Rouge, MI
"Project Jason has made great advances in the two short years of their formation. They have instituted several programs to help find missing persons and aid the families of missing persons.
The programs include an Internet clearing house called Faces of Missing Loved Ones, Eighteen Wheel Angels, a poster campaign for truckers, and the Come Home program, which places missing person's posters at homeless shelters, soup kitchens, and other locations where homeless persons gather.
Project Jason also led the fight to have the Nebraska missing children clearinghouse changed to include missing adults."
Robert Cooke, Father of missing Rachel Cooke and President of Rachel Alert Network http://rachelcookesearch.org/
“Just want to say Project Jason has been there for me and helped get Thomas's photo out there when there was so many places that I didn't know about. Kelly has been a great inspiration to me and will never be able to thank her enough. Thomas has been missing 17 months 4 days and I will never give up hope . I have picked a special star at night that I look at and talk to Thomas and pray that one day we will know something. He is in my heart and on my mind always. Thank you so much Project Jason and Kelly and may God bless you with some answers.”
Deborah Amburn, wife of missing Thomas Amburn
“My missing son Jeffrey Ben, is known in other states and has been adopted by individuals who wear his button every day to help spread the story of his case and I thank "Project Jason" for doing this for us. It has helped many families who struggle to get their missing loved one's picture and story out to the public. It has also been a support just to become acquainted with those who go through the same emotions as we do because they have been there and feel those same emotions. It is a wonderful program and has helped many people in "our" situation.”
“When my friend Lori Ann Leonard disappeared on May 4, 2005 her family and I scrambled around aimlessly not knowing who to turn to for help. I searched for hours on the internet and saw several links to the Project Jason website. I was reluctant to write because I thought "what can these people possibly do for us when we are located in Central New York." How wrong I was. When I read Project Jason's mission statement I knew I was in the right place. I took advantage of every internet resource they provided and contacted them all. I also learned in great detail what we should be doing on order to find Lori. Finally I contacted Kelly Jolkowski and to my surprise I heard back from her immediately. Kelly explained to me how she could help and she immediately "went to work." Kelly placed Lori's case information on numerous websites and on the Project Jason website bringing much needed awareness. She answered every question I had about media, searching, and the way we were feeling with the knowledge of someone who had already walked in our shoes. It meant so much to Lori's family when Kelly personally called Lori's sister to give her hope. Kelly was always there for us to give us strength when we didn't feel as if there was any left and she constantly wrote us to make sure we were ok. Recently I printed off Project Jason Personal ID kits for all my children and for myself. I pray we never have to use them, but if we do I know now the benefit of having them not only for law enforcement but for us as parents. Even since Lori has been found Project Jason and Kelly continue to be a source of never ending strength and has given me the motivation to follow my own path in helping those who are in need."
Dawn Popluhar, friend of Lori Leonard, Canastota, NY
Found murdered 7/24/05
“I will always be grateful to Project Jason for their help when I was searching for my beloved Bill. The kindness Kelly showed me during and later when I found Bill had died five years before. The phone calls to see if I was alright meant so much to me. I will never forget it.”
Pat Pellom, friend of Bill Patterson
When I happened upon Project Jason while browsing the Internet for new avenues to use to pursue the case of my missing sister, Linda, a vast world of resources opened up with a click and one email. Project Jason provided me with a lot of research, posted my sister's photo and case and provided great compassion and support for this now 14 year old case. With the support and attention given to Linda's case and me personally, I feel connected to something beyond the loss experienced in our family. For many years, it felt like this was a pursuit that was only mine, but Project Jason has provided a shoulder and has allowed me to realize that I can, in turn, help others with missing family members. It meant a lot too to my elderly mother to know that Linda's disappearance was just as important as the few high profile crime cases dominating the media and that someone besides the two of us still believed this obscure missing adult case should still be pursued. We have often felt that everyone had forgotten our loved one. I am amazed at the commitment and determination of Project Jason's founders and feel blessed to have Project Jason's help.
E. Joy Little, sister of missing Linda Little
Project Jason has been extremely helpful in assisting me in the search for my missing daughter Monica. They have provided the emotional support and encouragement needed to deal with this living nightmare. Project Jason has assisted in directing us to resources and giving ideas to keep my daughter's face in the media which is important in finding missing children.
No one truly understands the pain and confusion a family goes through when your child has gone missing unless they have experienced it.
Katherine Carrasco,mother of Monica Carrasco missing since Oct. 2,2003 from Balmorhea,TX.
Project Jason has been there for me. That's what you need when you have a missing child (my adult son Amos Mortier www.findamos.com went missing from the Madison, WI area 11.8.04), someone else that has or is going through exactly what you are going through. Many people want to help, console and advise...but really, the best people to speak with are those that have missing children. Project Jason (Kelly) was right there as soon as Amos disappeared. I don't know how she was right there but she was. Kelly posted Amos' info. on her website and then I started seeing Amos' info. all over the internet thanks to Kelly's postings. I can't tell you how helpful and how much I appreciated that.
In the beginning of your search for your loved one you are so focused on the immediate ground search that by the time you get home you are exhausted mentally and physically, so to have those links created for Amos in those early days by Kelly was a godsend.
You have to remember, no one...no parents are reading about what to do if you have a missing adult child. how to plan now if someday, you should have a missing child...people just don't do that. So when your child disappears and your life immediately swings into the surreal life of a parent with a missing child you are hit in the head with a brick...stunned, this can't be happening...thank goodness for people like Kelly and Project Jason to help us in the beginning of and throughout this sad, long journey we have ahead of us.
Thank you so much for being there for us,
Amos' mom, Margie
Project Jason assisted me in many ways with the case of my missing wife, Patricia Viola. Project Jason has done the following to assist our family:
- Added Patricia to the "18 Wheel Angel Program" which makes us of Truckers traveling throughout the country to print out and post specially designed Flyers. We feel that this program has helped spread Patricia's story and image to the far reaches of our county. We were able to track the progress of the Flyer downloads by logging onto Project Jason's web site.
- Added Patricia to the "Adopt a Missing Person Program" which through the Project Jason web site, a person can "Adopt" Patricia. The adopters are then sent some of Patricia's 3" pins which we provided and a copy of a Bio on Patricia that we put together to assist them in really getting to know Patricia, the person. We feel this program has also been very successful to helping to keep Patricia's story in the publics eye.
- Kelly Jolkowski of Project Jason was nice enough to write a blog (online article) about Patricia causing a tremendous spike of "hits" on Patricia's web site setting a record for the day. Talk about impact!
- Project Jason introduced me to the PRWEB service for Press Releases and has even helped with creating the Press Releases.
- Project Jason is always there to assist me in getting the word out about Pat when new information comes in as far as posting to various groups.
- Added Patricia to the "Missing Faces" section of Project Jason which links to Patricia's web site as well. This further increases the hits to Patricia's site.
- Kelly and Project Jason have been very instructional in helping to better prepare for missing person issues.I consider myself lucky to have met Kelly and work with her and Project Jason, unfortunately under these circumstances, and she and Project Jason have been shining lamps of Hope for me and my family. They have been very supportive over the last two years that I have known her and her organization.
In search for my wife, Patricia Viola
Project Jason assisted me in my search for my daughter, LaQuanta, by sending their letters out each month. They also made it possible for me to receive the “Adopt a Missing Person?” buttons with her picture on them and most of all, a website dedicated to LaQuanta (www.findlaquanta.com). And through this I have been able to realize that I am not alone, that there are people who care and pray for her safe return as well as for my strength to hold on. This alone has given me the strength and faith to keep going and not give up.
I will be forever grateful to you, Project Jason.
Pam Riley, mother of LaQuanta Riley, Montgomery AL
Project Jason assisted me with the case of my missing daughter, Ashley Martinez, by distributing her photo and information for many public to view. They also added her to all the programs that they had available to increase public awareness. Their 18 wheels program was helpful to allow truck drivers from all over the country to acknowledge the disappearance of our daughter. It meant much to my family when Kelly Jolkowski came to our daughter's candlelight vigil and spoke to the public about her organization and the importance of the public awareness to help everyone whose family member is missing. The impact of her speech was very impressive and got a wonderful response from the public about various ways that they can help.
Tammy Navinskey, Mother of missing Ashley Martinez, St. Joseph, MO.
Project Jason assisted me with the case of my missing mother, Cynthia by assisting our family with getting a website designed especially for my mother. They also created fliers, business cards, and mailing labels to get the word out even more. Their other programs were very helpful in leading us in the right direction to get assistance for spreading the word regarding my mother. The founder of Project Jason is so very helpful and is always there to assist no matter what my request may be.
It meant much to my family when we were finally able to get some assistance and if it wasn't for Project Jason, I don't know if we would've ever gotten any assistance as far as getting my mothers name and information on other websites as well. The impact of Project Jason and the other programs they offer are very helpful.
Melody Day, daughter of missing Cynthia Day, E. St. Louis, IL
Project Jason assisted me with the case of my missing son, Jerald, by setting up the Come Home project. They also placed his picture on their website and more than 200 posters were downloaded. Their Come Home program was helpful as a more human approach to finding loved ones. It meant much to my family to know that so many people care.
Sid Gelb, father of missing Jerald Gelb, Brookline MA.
Project Jason has been a valuable asset to our family with the case of our missing daughter, Suzanne. Families can feel isolated, alone and misunderstood. Project Jason has been there for us when we needed understanding, acceptance and guidance.
Mary and Doug Lyall, parents of Suzanne-missing since 1998
Project Jason assisted me to find my brother, Michael. Mike's picture was posted on the web site. He was also the focus of one of their "Come Home" campaigns.
Kelly Jolkowski was extremely helpful. When we talked on the phone, she really listened to what I had to say about my brother. He was not just another "missing person", but a human being that has loved ones who are going through a pain that can only be felt by someone who has lived in this hell. I appreciate all of the efforts of Project Jason.
Carol Patrick, sister of Missing Michael Wasik
Project Jason assisted me with the case of my missing daughter, Jennifer Wilkerson, by helping distribute flyers and information, by pointing out resources available for families of the missing, and supplying moral support and encouragement when we are at our lowest. Kelly has made herself available forevery request or question quickly and unselfishly.
Jack WilkersonFather of missing Jennifer Wilkerson
Project Jason assisted us with the case of our missing son, Michael by getting his picture on TV. They also helped us get buttons for the Adopt a Missing Persons program. Their many programs have been helpful in showing us the many ways to get the word out on our missing son.It meant much to my family when we saw his picture on TV. We felt that something was finally being done.
James and Kathy Jarvi, parents of Michael Jarvi, missing from Naselle, WA
Project Jason assisted me with the case of my missing daughter, Katlyn, by distributing posters, leading me to other organizations that also help in finding missing loved ones. They also set up a group distribution where they alerted all of the TV stations in Omaha, Ne. All of the TV stations came and filmed everyone hanging posters and interviewed me as a worried mother along with other family members and some of my daughter’s friends.
Last but not least, Project Jason has a very strong support system and Kelly never, ever lets you lose hope. She is an angel from above!! My daughter Katlyn has since returned home on August 30th, safe and sound. I would have never made it through an experience like this without the help of Project Jason. I can never re-pay Project Jason for all they did for me and my family not to mention Katlyn herself.
Shelly Mlnarik, Mother of Katlyn
Project Jason assisted me with the case of my missing brother, Robert Anthony Spellman by providing outlets in getting the word out about my brother, guidance and sheer support. They also have been a point of strength in this unfortunate experience of having a loved one gone missing. Their website network program was extremely helpful and resourceful in disseminating information regarding updates to my brother, Robert’s case.
It meant so much to my family when I was able to speak to Kelly and relate to what I called this “game of searching for a missing person” such as my brother Robert.
Tracy Spellman, sister of missing Robert Anthony Spellman, Sherman Oaks, CA
Project Jason assisted me with the case of my missing son, Marc. I had filed a police report and they told me to sit back and wait. I couldn't wait. Fortunately, I have an online friend who told me about Project Jason. Project Jason told me all the other things I could do like contacting the Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Project Jason gave me several resources for help in finding my son AND they listened to me when I felt like everybody else I spoke to thought I was crazy for worrying since "he is 17". They designed a "Missing" poster for me that I had copies made of and these resulted in us finding our son. I can't fully describe the impact that Project Jason had on us, but they changed our lives forever. We have our child home and there is no greater gift that can be given.
Cecelia Medbery, mother of former missing child Marc Medbery, Bellevue, Nebraska
Thank you all for allowing me the privelege of working for you.