VINEYARD, Utah (ABC4) — After experiencing the tragedy of a lifetime, one Utah County family decided to turn their grief into something positive. They are the family behind Hope Kits, gift boxes filled not only with treats and goodies but also with healing tools, like a journal or therapy cards, meant for families who went through tough times like they did.
Looking at the Clawson family, you’ll see a vibrant family who’s lived a life of laughter. If you look a bit closer, you’ll see it hasn’t always been that way. Four years ago, Valerie Clawson, a wife and mother, died after a nine-month-long battle with cancer, leaving behind her husband and sons. What came after was several months of grieving.
“I remember putting on a mask that says I’ve got to be strong for everybody,” said Jason Clawson. “At night, I would take it off and I would just cry because of how hard it was.”
Nine months after Valerie Clawson’s death, Jason Clawson decided it was time for a change. He quit his job.
“I needed to reconnect with my kids and become a dad again,” Jason Clawson said.
Together with his two sons, they sat down together and decided to make a Bucket List. The list eventually took them to many exciting places. They went on a boat and airplane; they made a lemonade stand and raised 1500 dollars.
“Cooper looks at me and says, ‘Dad, we’re rich!,'” Jason Clawson said. “I told him, ‘We’re not rich, this just means we can help more people.”
As they tick more things off the bucket list, another idea came to them: making comforting kits for grieving families.
From there, Hope Kits was born. What began as a family project, now has reached all 50 states and four countries. They’ve delivered over 250 gift boxes in the last three years.
“I want people to see someone who’s gone through a tough time and give them hope through their journey,” said Jason Clawson.
The Clawsons say it’s taught them that an act of kindness, no matter the size, even a box, can go a long way.