A sad anniversary

Just realized it’s been 14 years this day that Jason Jolkowski¬†walked out of his Omaha, Nebraska house into the void. His mother, Kelly Murphy, founded Project Jason in his honor. Project Jason is a great organization; I refer a lot of MP families to it. Kelly is an amazing woman and I admire her ability to bring something good out of this tragedy in her family. I hope this year is the year that Jason gets found.

Jason Jolkowski’s mom gets recognized for her MP volunteerism

Kelly Jolkowski, mother of Jason who’s been missing since 2001, has won the Nebraska Governor’s Points of Light Award. Kelly founded Project Jason, a support group/awareness group for families of missing people. We have communicated but until I saw this article about her award, I don’t think I’d ever seen a picture of her before.

Kelly is an awesome individual and totally deserved that award. I really admire people who can take tragic things that happen to them and turn them into something good. I only wish she could get some answers as to what happened to her son. He just kind of vanished into thin air.

Jason Jolkowski

Jason Jolkowski disappeared ten years ago yesterday from Omaha, Nebraska. His disappearance is one of those seemingly inexplicable ones that leave you wondering whether he got taken by aliens or something. He was nineteen years old and an ordinary enough young man, living with his parents, working in a restaurant. There’s no mention of drugs or anything. He was just gone. If he is alive, Jason will turn thirty years old on the 24th.

His mom, Kelly, has managed to create a great deal of good in the aftermath of her son’s disappearance. I believe it was her activism that got the Nebraska state missing person database online, and she also founded Project Jason, a nonprofit dedicated to spreading awareness of missing people and helping their families. I’ve referred quite a few people to Project Jason.

Family of missing man tries to turn their tragedy into something better for others

This is the first I’ve heard of this: the family of Brian Barton, a 25-year-old who mysteriously disappeared from Federal Way, Washington five years ago, has created an organization, the For Our Families Foundation, to assist with the finding of missing persons. The foundation provides money to law enforcement agencies to train officers on missing person investigations; many cops just really don’t know how to handle long-term missing person cases, apparently. The article also mentions the inestimable Kelly Jolkowski, herself the mother of a missing child, and the founder of Project Jason. That organization, and Kelly herself, are awesome. Kelly was recently honored by Congress for her work.

I think it’s all the more impressive when families of the missing become activists for this sort of thing. Because it’s such a terrible thing to experience, a person could be forgiven for falling utterly to pieces or just wanting to avoid the whole topic for the rest of their lives. People like Kelly Jolkowski, and Adam Barton, try to transcend the tragedy and use it to help other people.