The JennaJackPack Project was founded in memory of Jenna and Jack, and to encourage empathy. During a time of devastating loss, empathy can make a significant impact, especially on children.
While there are numerous avenues of support to help adults and families through the loss of a parent or sibling, coping with this tremendous loss is extremely difficult. In particular, children are not equipped to understand how or why this untimely death could happen. In the days and weeks immediately following a death, children are often lost.
The JennaJackPack Project began with a selfless act of kindness by a 13-year-old-boy. Driven by an overwhelming sense of empathy and sadness, Johnny wanted to do something to help his friend, John. He wanted to comfort him any way he could, and he wanted him to know that his peers were thinking of him. He and a friend bought John’s favorite snacks, treats and candy, and delivered it to him at his home.
In the midst of his shock, grief and disbelief, John received an extraordinary gift filled with love and care. The package full of goodies gave John a sense of comfort words could not describe. The gift of everyday treats was remarkable.
Johnny’s act of empathy had a tremendous impact on John. It connected him to his peers. It let him know how much they cared. It comforted him and provided him with a sense of hope. For Johnny, putting the package of treats together gave him a sense of comfort and control.
It is with this in mind, that the JennaJackPack Project (JJPP) began.
We know from personal experience that familiar things and everyday
treats can lift up a child during a time of great loss.
It is our hope that a JennaJackPack will provide some immediate comfort to children, and empower their classmates and friends to show their concern and care for a child going through a difficult time.
Lana Bernardi Jeanne Meaney President Vice President
Nora Mende Diane O’Shea
Board Member Board Member
Cathy S. Nolan
To learn more about our inspiration for the JennaJackPack Project, please click here.