Kerri Pickering Hensley was our daughter. When she was in 2nd grade, we lived in San Antonio, Tx., and there were problems with gangs and gang activity. She told her brother (Joshua) and friends that she wanted to start her own gang to do nice things. She wanted it to be called the “Care Bear Gang”. Her brother wisely informed her they would surely be beat up if they did that. But she did become our “Care Bear”, a name that many of her friends still call her. She loved doing things for other people, looking out for the less fortunate, and helping those she could. When someone needed a friend, she was there for them and would do whatever she could to help. She always shared whatever she had and was never an “It’s Mine” type person. She was diagnosed Bi-Polar in her senior year of high school in 2001 and later was also diagnosed as having schizophrenia. Both of these illness lead to many dark times, several suicide attempts with hospitalizations, acting out with drugs and friends; things that no parent would approve of. But there were also good times, when things would almost seem normal, when the pre-disease Kerri would still appear. Through the dark and light, she never changed her attitude toward always wanting to help someone else. When she had nothing, she would still try to help. When she had little, she would share with whoever had less. She fought these illnesses and also fought the possible cures as people with mental issues often do by not taking her medications regularly. She killed herself the morning of September 28, 2014 as this was the only way she could see to protect those she loved and quite the voices in her head. Our desire is to see her life remembered, not as just another case of a person with mental illness that did not survive, but as someone who cared and always tried to help. We want to do, “Random Acts of Kindness” like she would, whether it’s helping the homeless, helping someone with their groceries bill, paying someone’s utilities, having a car repaired, or whatever those random acts of kindness may be.
Our mission is to memorialize Kerri’s spirit of kindness and her love of helping people, by continuing to provide a helping hand (not a hand out) to people that are in a distressing need.