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Jonas B. Kelsall Memorial Fund
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Jonas B. Kelsall Memorial Fund
About the Jonas B. Kelsall Memorial Fund
Among many things, Jonas Kelsall is remembered for his fervent love of family, friends, country, and life. Despite spending a great deal of time on deployment, Jonas never considered his job as a United States Navy SEAL a sacrifice but instead, a great honor.
On August 6, 2011, Jonas and his Naval Special Warfare teammates, tragically lost their lives in service to our great nation. These heroes were more than just teammates, they were also devoted friends and guardians of each other’s families.
The ‘Jonas B. Kelsall Memorial Fund’ was established by Jonas’ wife to honor these men and their everlasting friendship and commitment to one another. The goal of the fund is to provide need-based assistance to families in addition to offering support by facilitating activities that reunite the children, spouses, and significant others of Jonas’ teammates; thus fostering and strengthening the camaraderie and love that was established by the men and heroes who first brought these families together.
Although the ‘Jonas B. Kelsall Memorial Fund’ was primarily formed to support families of the fallen; the fund also encourages endeavors that resonated with Jonas by rewarding America’s youth who demonstrate a desire to put others before self, a determination to rise above life’s challenges, and a willingness to make a difference in the lives of others. In advancing these efforts, Jonas’ legacy lives on in all of us.
We look forward to posting updates about both disbursements and fundraisers!
Lieutenant Commander Jonas B. Kelsall was born on November 8, 1978, in Shreveport, Louisiana. He was killed in action in Afghanistan on August 6, 2011. Jonas committed every day of his life to the happiness of his wife, Victoria; family; and friends; as well as to service for his country.
Fast friends with all he met, Jonas was a magnetic storyteller who shared his compassion, humor, and energy with those around him. Those who love Jonas also remember him for his spontaneity; he was known for surprising his loved ones, whether with playful pranks or unexpected acts of kindness.
Jonas led a fulfilling life with his wife, family, friends, and teammates. Jonas was also a devoted family man. He and Victoria prioritized spending time with family whenever the opportunity arose. Additionally, Jonas took great pride in his job and valued the commitment, skill, loyalty, and friendship of his teammates. When not working, he enjoyed traveling around the world with Victoria. Throughout all of his travels, however, Jonas was always happy to return home to the United States, and often expressed how fortunate he was to be an American.
Jonas enlisted in the Navy after graduating from Caddo Magnet High School in Shreveport, where he excelled in soccer. Jonas completed Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training in Coronado, California, in 1997. He then attended the University of Texas at Austin as a member of the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps, along with his future wife, Victoria. Jonas and Victoria discovered their interest in travel and love for one another while studying abroad in Paris, France in the Spring of 2000 and they were married in Charlottesville, Virginia in March 2007.
- Victoria Kelsall
- Elizabeth Jennings
This past year we raised over $11,000 thanks to your generous donations! Your contributions have enabled us to offer grants to a number of deserving families. Here’s a snapshot of what you were able to do for the surviving families of our military heroes:
- contribute to special programs for children of the fallen to help them cope with their grief and connect with other children who have experienced a similar loss
- support medical expenses for Gold Star family member undergoing treatment for terminal illness
- facilitate travel for families of the fallen to attend memorial events to honor their loved ones
- facilitate travel to reunite young- adult Gold Star “children” with their siblings and mother so they can spend quality time together
- support educational and career pursuits for young-adult Gold Star “children”
Our next fundraiser is Veteran’s Day weekend, the weekend following Jonas’ birthday! We hope you will help us continue our efforts in 2017 by contributing to Jonas’ fund. In the next year, in addition to the types of grants we supported in 2014-16, our goal once again is to reach families who lost someone in the earlier days of the Global War on Terror and even before 9/11. Many of these children, spouses and parents were unable to benefit from the plethora of non-profit organizations that now support families of the fallen because those organizations simply didn’t exist back then. These families went without grief programming, support networks, educational assistance and so-forth. As such, they were forced to figure things out amidst all the grief they were dealing with on a daily basis. Today, these families, while often highly functional in acts of daily living, still struggle with their loss and deserve to be recognized just as much as anyone else. I hope our grant program can put a smile on some of their faces and alleviate some of the stress that they might face. I hope our grant program demonstrates to them that they are loved and their loss is not forgotten.
Feel free to contact us if you have questions or want to help us with our fundraising efforts!
CharitySmith accepts donations in two ways:
Jonas B. Kelsall Memorial Fund
CharitySmith Nonprofit Foundation
13100 Filly Lane
Truckee, CA 96161
Use credit card by clicking the link below:
The above Memorial Fund is established as a division of CharitySmith Nonprofit Foundation (EIN 87-0636433). All donations are tax deductible in accordance with federal tax law. Receipts for tax purposes are sent via US Mail within two weeks of donation. Please consider asking if your employer participates in a gift-matching program. If so, your donation may be matched by your employer. For questions regarding your donation or this memorial fund please contact CharitySmith.