Kelley was fun loving and easy going. She loved animals and was concerned about the environment. And she was passionate about soccer. Despite being an all-star basketball player through 8th grade, she dedicated her time and energy to soccer. When asked why, she said, “The space, the outdoors and the sun,” though she loved playing in the rain, too.ß
Kelley’s commitment to soccer was earning the attention of several Division I schools. She had a 3.6 GPA, many friends and rarely caused trouble. Kelley was her own person, a free spirit and absolutely loved life.
A recent University of Houston study found that, of 153 attempted suicides, only 13% of survivors between the ages of 13 and 34 had contemplated their act for eight hours or longer. Of the rest, 70% reported that the time from decision to attempt was less than one hour, and an astonishing 24% put the interval at less than five minutes. In terms of a lifetime – and all the potential that holds – these often irrevocable decisions are made in mere moments. Hopefully Kelley’s passing can raise awareness of this serious problem.
Even in death, Kelley wanted to make a difference as an organ donor.
Currently over 80,000 people in the United States are waiting for a lifesaving organ transplant. These children and adults are completely dependent upon the generosity of a stranger. Organ donation is a selfless and heroic act that a simple decision can make possible. Anyone can choose to give this greatest of gifts. You can donate up to 8 lifesaving organs and up to 50 life-enhancing tissues. All you need to do is sign a donor card or the back of your driver’s license and, please, tell your loved ones so they can carry out your wishes. Perhaps your selflessness will even inspire others. With your help in spreading this important message, we can all leave a legacy of life for those in need.
Click Here to download the Kelley Jo Ver Velde Scholarship application form in pdf.
Click Here to donate to the Kelley Jo Ver Velde Scholarship fund.