Our intentions for the foundation, our goals and dreams, are for honoring Kathryn through the gift of giving and living the way Kayleigh lived everyday…Singing, laughing, smiling, and loving.
The Kathryn Leigh Thurgaland Foundation is built to lift up spirits. The founding board members consist of Kathryn’s immediate family; her mother Jodell, her father Todd, her two brothers Ryan and Avery and her sister, Elizabeth. The Kathryn Leigh Thurgaland foundation Inc. was founded July 13, 2021 and is a 501(c)(3) organization. Donors can deduct contributions made, under IRC Section 170.
It is the mission of the Kathryn Leigh Thurgaland foundation to meet the initial needs of families who have lost a child along with carrying her legacy forward to future generations of students through memorial scholarships.
The KLT foundation offers support to families who have lost a child in the same way her family was helped by friends and family. The Kathryn Leigh Thurgaland foundation believes strongly in continuing to honor Kathryn’s amazing love of life by recognizing her values of human expression through art, music, dancing, and the performing arts. It is in this vein that we provide memorial scholarships for students that practice and live the same values and dreams.
The vision the family shared on the development of the foundation was not only inspired with the desire to keep KayLeigh's spirit alive but was also inspired by our family and friends. Below is a summary of a thank you letter Todd wrote expressing our gratitude for all that was done for us.
Oct 21, 2020
It’s now day 12 and I need to share some thoughts with all of you. The outreach of texts, phone calls, private messages, cards, flowers, it was all just TOO MUCH to respond to individually. But please know that we saw them, we read them, and our hearts were touched, but we could not speak. So, forgive us, for we were overwhelmed with that which was before us in each and every difficult moment of each day. We know you were grieving too. We know it was GOD working through you, the collective consciousness of the life we all share, reaching out and touching our breaking hearts. It was God wrapping us in his arms of care and support, and it was all around us. Thank you all for that. There are so many people to thank that did so much in the background to shoulder our burden and give us the space to just grieve.
Day one, some close friends, some very special friends, arrived as soon as they found out, We were in so much shock that we could hardly move, we could not eat, we could not think rationally. They did all of these things for us. They knew that family would be racing to our side and that our home would soon be invaded by dozens of family members and close friends. Preparations would need to be made. Provisions would need to be on the ready.
Day two 9am, these special people were literally elbow deep in our toilets, mopping and sweeping the floors, cleaning the shower, cleaning the kitchen, and mowing the lawn. Preparing our home for family to arrive in the coming hours. Everything was in order. Then the provisions arrived, pallets of bottled water, sodas, gator aid, tea, drink boxes for children. Of course, cases of beer and wine. A friend had a Shipt delivery arrive at the house with a restock of more of the same essential provisions mid-week. And things you just don’t think of that will be needed because others know what’s coming but you have no idea. Like large garbage cans with boxes of 48 gallon garbage bags, tons of napkins, paper towels, and of course boxes of soft Kleenex tissue for a week of tears that would be shed. And the food. SO much food. Restaurants from throughout the community reached out to us, wanting to feed the overflowing number of family members descending on our home. For days there would be catered food drops around 4pm that filled our dining room table with enough to feed about 20 people and leftovers for lunch the next day.
Other friends through the School Parent page had foods delivered: vegetable trays, cheese and meat trays, crackers, dozens of bags of chips, cookies, cakes, deserts, hundreds of red solo cups and utensils. And easy breakfast stuff like bagels, donuts, awesome morning muffins.There were people that volunteered to do the food deliveries and daily drops. And people volunteered to do airport runs to pick up all of the many relatives that flew in from around the country.I never imagined the response that would come from our community of friends this last 12 days. As our world was crumbling around us and helplessly bringing us to our knees in despair, they came, they held us up. SO MANY from every direction. I was just in shock and I didn’t wrap my head around what was about to happen until it happened. But the community knew, our friends knew, and they made all the preparations and managed our home for us so we didn’t have to think about it, worry about it, or deal with it. For this, my family will be forever grateful and in your debt. And I know God will bring another hurting family into our lives for the opportunity to pay it back, because now we have been involuntarily inducted into this horrible club of immense suffering and grief. And we know what they don’t know, we know what they will need, we know what they will be going through, and we know how we can help.
Even if you never saw or spoke to us, my whole family felt your love and we thank you so much for your compassion and most of all for being a conduit for God to reveal his presence in our lives and help us through.
Much love, respect, and appreciation,
The Thurgaland Family