Student-led nonprofit group hopes to help community with life-jacket stations

Grants Pass, Or.-Teresa Haley is the proud mother of three boys and a girl, but today she’s especially proud of her daughter Katherine.

“I could actually honestly cry,” Teresa said.

Katherine along with other Josephine County Foundation members, a student-led nonprofit, held a ribbon cutting ceremony Tuesday to reveal their two year long project.

“The project is all about saving lives in the river,” Katherine said.

At Schroeder and Indian Mary park you might come across some bright orange life jackets. You can thank JCF for that.

“We’re hoping that they will prevent either drownings or near drowning incidents in the river,” Katherine said. “The life jackets are here to give people the opportunity to just pick them up and wear them for the day and put them away and keep everyone safe.”

With three different sizes ranging from toddler, youth and adult there is a life jacket to fit anyone.

“We have a statistic that we’ve been using that about eight people annually drown in the rivers and we’re hoping that this will bring that number down,” Katherine said.

The life jacket project hits home for Katherine’s mother.

“When I was in high school one of my classmates drowned,” Teresa said. “We were all told if he has been wearing a life vest then he would of lived.”
It’s a story that Katherine’s mother tells often, in hopes that it can help save someone else’s life.

“We’re not going to be able to predict how many lives are saved by this project but if one life is saved then its worth a million dollars,” Teresa said.

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