KERSEY — Local acts of kindness honoring the memory of Kinsley Kronenwetter have been spreading like wildfire in Elk County and surrounding areas.
Emily Kronenwetter, a learning support teacher at Clearfield Area Elementary School, and her husband, Shawn, who is a City of St. Marys Police Department officer, lost their daughter unexpectedly Jan. 15, 2018, at 14 months old, she said.
Kinsley knew how to spread “pure joy” to those around her, Kronenwetter said. She had an emergency brain-tumor resection at 8 months old, but maintained a smile during the hard times.
After Kinsley’s death, the 15th of each month became a day of unbearable grief for those she left behind, Kronenwetter said.
“We did our first act of kindness in Kinsley’s memory July 15, 2018, by paying for someone’s meal at McDonalds, with a note that told the person all about Kinsley,” she said. “That person posted on social media about how much it meant to them. When that happened, we felt that we had to continue working to make a mark on this world that Kinsley can no longer can make herself.”
Since then, more than 1,900 books have been donated to Pennsylvania children’s hospitals, 126 soda-can tabs collected for Ronald McDonald House Charities, 322 foster-care packages given to the Children’s Aid Society of Clearfield and Children and Youth Services of Elk County and handmade Valentine’s Day cards to nursing homes.
“This would not be successful if it wasn’t for our supportive community, which has rallied behind our family and this project from its creation,” Kronenwetter said.
Other acts of kindness in the community have included sending pizza to hospital emergency-room staff members, donating 15 trees in Klamath National Forest, fulfilling SPCA wish lists, giving goodie bags and sending donuts to local police officers, Kronenwetter said.
“As a bereaved parent, one of your greatest fears is that your child will be forgotten,” she said. “But, on the 15th of each month, we watch people in the community put extra effort into making others smile in Kinsley’s memory — that is making all the difference.”