Jacob Wetterling Resource Center, a program of Gundersen National Child Protection Training Center, is asking individuals to commit to doing something on Wednesday, Oct. 22 to create hope and light in the world in honor of Jacob Wetterling.
Twenty-five years ago, Jacob Wetterling was abducted in St. Joseph — Oct. 22, 1989. The case remains open and unsolved. Jacob’s story has left an indelible mark on the hearts of thousands, if not millions, of people throughout Minnesota, the United States and throughout the world.
“Jacob’s Hope is a powerful force,” said Alison Feigh, program manager, JWRC, Gundersen NCPTC. “The Wetterlings modeled early on that they were not going to let the man who took their son, Jacob, take anything else from us. We were encouraged to explore the world and believe in the goodness of people. I’m thankful for the tone they set and the permission they gave our community to live into the good.”
JWRC has always asked families to leave a porch light on to honor Jacob on Oct. 22. On this 25th anniversary of Jacob’s disappearance, in addition to turning on an outside light, you’re encouraged to let your own light shine by building hope in children. Go for a bike ride together, create art, listen without distractions, put an encouraging note in your child’s lunch – the ideas are endless. There is no greater way to honor Jacob than to create a more hope-filled world.
It’s very rare an abductor comes forward to confess to a crime like this one. In most cases, the abductor tells someone what they did. If you are able to shine a light into this case by coming forward to law enforcement with information that will lead to answers, please take that step.
Jacob’s legacy continues to be honored as JWRC works to end all forms of child abuse, neglect and exploitation through training, education, advocacy, prevention and awareness. The organization provides care and treatment for children, families and adult survivors in Minnesota and across the country.
“There is no such thing as closure, but I do believe strongly in justice,” Feigh said. “We continue to work in Jacob’s name so one day all children will grow up free from harm.”
Dr. Jerry and Patty Wetterling want to extend their eternal gratitude for the overwhelming amount of support and prayers their family has received since Oct. 22, 1989. “You have carried us when we had no strength, you have hoped with us during our darkest days. You have never forgotten and never given up. I know Jacob would be proud he has brought strength, caring and hope to so many. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.”
For more information, go to gundersenhealth.org/jwrc.
25 Ways to Build Hope in Children
- Help me build a fort.
- Stop at my lemonade stand.
- Read to me.
- Listen without distractions.
- Join me in finding animal shapes in the clouds.
- Model kindness.
- Create art.
- Teach me empathy.
- Put an encouraging note in my lunch.
- Do something with me to make our block more beautiful.
- Sing to me.
- Remind me to share.
- Be a voice for youth.
- Celebrate differences.
- Dance with me.
- Teach me something new.
- Help me create a family of snow angels.
- Tell me campfire stories over s’mores.
- Take technology breaks.
- Ask me my opinion.
- Create a scavenger hunt.
- Volunteer somewhere together.
- Put together a neighborhood event.
- Take me on a bike ride.
- Talk to me about online and body safety.
Jacob Wetterling, son of Pat and Jerry Wetterling, disappeared 25 years ago, on Oct. 22, 1989. The Jacob Wetterling Resource Center encourages all people to let their light shine by building hope in our children through play and learning.