Family of Austin 8-year-old who died after car crash sets up foundation in his memory
AUSTIN, Texas - The family of a boy who died after a car wreck in December has set up a new foundation in his memory. At just eight-years-old, Jude Calley left his mark.
"He was just so joyful and bubbly, and a light to everybody, he’s the kind of kid that if a kid needed help, he would be the first one to go help him, he was also so happy and giggly and smiley," Jude's mother, Mary Grace Calley said.
In December, Jude and his father, Brandon Calley, were in a roll-over crash on FM 1626 near Hays County. Jude was taken by STAR Flight to Dell Children’s Medical Center with life-threatening injuries.
The family of a boy who died after a car wreck in December has set up a new foundation in his memory. At just eight-years-old, Jude Calley left his mark.
"The community rallied behind us, came together like a team to support us, and we’ll never forget that," Brandon Calley said.
Jude played on the Austin Raptors Baseball Team. When he was fighting for his life in the hospital, the baseball community was there to support.
"Jude was still in the hospital, he was on life support, the whole entire community just rallied around us, and they wore Jerseys for Jude," Mary Grace Calley said.
Jude died in the hospital, but his organs were donated to help two adults and two kids’ lives.
"He died a hero, he was always into superheroes, and he didn’t even know he was one in death," Mary Grace Calley said.
Eight-year-old Jude Calley died following a roll-over crash in Hays County. His family has now set up a foundation in his honor.
His parents continue to shine his light.
"When you go through a tragedy like this, you have two choices, you can either let it destroy you which it could easily do because the grief is so intense, or you can let it fuel you to just do good, and live with purpose and glorify God with it," Mary Grace Calley said.
"I think it was through that experience that we realized that nothing really matters except for loving God and loving your neighbor as yourself," Brandon Calley said.
The Calleys started the JC7 Foundation. The J stands for Jude, C for Calley, and 7 for his baseball number.
"It’s the biblical number for completeness, it’s God’s number of fulfillment," Brandon Calley said.
The JC7 Foundation has a specific mission to enrich the lives of children and support families who have lost a child.
"We’re looking to get kids that are maybe in a disadvantaged situation to get them into team sports, get them into the arts, to unlock beauty that the world desperately needs, get them into faith-based programs, like church," Brandon Calley said. "We want to be there to support families that have lost a child, we want to support them financially, we want to offer grief counseling, but also hopefully find purpose in the pain, like we’ve found purpose in that pain."
Many are getting behind them. Kendra Scott hosted a Celebration of Life last week.
"Giving back to JC7 and being here and being with this group of people and being able to support obviously a horrible tragedy but rallying around it, is huge," Bruce Bolt Founder and CEO Bear Mayer said.
"This just shows the power that when things happen, the community will come together," Kendra Scott Vice President of Philanthropy and Belonging Sheena Wilde said.
The Calley family said they’ve raised about $100,000 and are looking forward to using those funds to help others.
"In some many ways, it kind of lessens the pain of the grief when we’re just doing good and keeping his spirit alive," Mary Grace Calley said.