Each month we want to highlight our Volunteer of the Month. This month we recognize Kelly Grace. Kelly is what we call an “original”. Kelly and Laura started out together as part of a team of search angels all the way back in the fall of 2018. Kelly was the ninja private eye of the team. She could, and still can find almost anyone. She also had the task of finding obituary information and sleuthing out hard to find records. Kelly was also the team member that came up with the slogan, “Finding families, one DNA strand at a time”.
As our team of angels migrated from exclusively helping one organization, Kelly came with us and stayed around until we created a non-profit organization in the fall of 2019.
The rest of 2019 and most of 2020 saw Kelly take a moment for herself and step away from research. However, the research bug bit again when Kelly was asked to help a friend of her nephew Cory find his biological father. She reached out to Laura and they reunited for “one more case”. After working this “one more” case, Kelly received one of Laura’s “offers you can’t refuse.” Soon she was back to work full-time at DNAngels. As Kelly learned more about the genetic genealogy portion of the detective work she decided to start taking the lead on case assignments. Between January and July of 2021 Kelly completed over 100 cases.
While completing all those cases is pretty impressive, Kelly does not stop there. She is a model volunteer and is one of the first to raise her hand for extra assignments within the organization. It doesn’t matter if we need a story written, an extra hand in screening, a new volunteer onboarded, DNA kits or thank you cards mailed, she doesn’t mind doing it. While no one person can do it all, Kelly absolutely tries her best to do as much as she can to ease the burden on Laura and the other volunteers on staff by acting as Laura’s “Chief of Staff” and “keeping the trains running on time” (as she calls it). Recently Kelly took on another challenging role and became the leader of her own Angel team.
Kelly has a true passion for helping people find their own story. Whether its searching for a “lost parent”,teaching others to dig out those important clues, or handling administrative “chores”; she give it her all with an obsessive attention to detail and a wicked sense of humor.