Our fabulous changemaker of the month is Kelly Reid, mother of two and Activities Director at the Carlsbad Inn. Kelly has been a supporter of CLF from the beginning, before there was a CLF. From the day she heard the news Chelsea was missing, Kelly jumped in to help. She participated in the search and when Chelsea was found, she went to the candlelight vigil to share her grief and support with others. She attended the memorial services of both Chelsea and Amber Dubois. In May of 2010, she set up a petition signing campaign outside the Carlsbad Inn to get Chelsea’s Law passed. Additionally, she worked with other volunteers to mail thousands of ribbons to various elected officials to show support for the law. She participated in the first Chelsea’s run, attended the sentencing of John Gardner and she celebrated the day Chelsea’s Law was signed into effect. Like so many others, Kelly was touched personally by the King family and the beautiful light that is Chelsea.
CLF: So Kelly, can you tell us about how and why you got involved with Chelsea’s Light?
KR: As the mother of a teenage daughter I was, of course, following the Amber Dubois story for months. When the news hit about Chelsea going missing, my empathy for both mothers just resonated. My own daughter had been missing for 2 weeks before all of this happened, albeit under much different circumstances, so I could imagine a tiny bit of what they were feeling.
As I witnessed how the King family handled each step of their journey with such faith and grace, I was overwhelmed. Because Kelly and I shared the same name and both had a son named Tyler, I felt a certain kinship to her. I remembered watching her at the first Finish Chelsea’s Run as she gave hugs to the runners. I found her ability to be so vulnerable in her grief incredible and I was humbled by it. Again, when I went to the screening of Tyler’s documentary as well as the Sunflower Scholarship event in June and heard them speak, I was so impressed by how the King family stuck together and kept looking to the future while always honoring their sweet daughter.
As a mom and lover of all creatures, I could not sit on the sidelines while all of this was happening. I just had to do what I could to help. I would also like to say that I am so grateful that my employer, the Carlsbad Inn, gave me a platform to get signatures, allowed me to use their social media page to promote it and donated rooms to the Kings on their recent visit for Home Run for Chelsea.
Every changemaker’s story is both unique and inspiring and we are grateful to learn more about each member of our beautiful tribe. On behalf of the Foundation, we would like to thank Kelly for sharing her story and for being a dedicated changemaker.