WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWTI) — The Victim’s Assistance Center of Jefferson County was awarded $1,000 thanks to one “Remarkable Woman” of the North Country.
This past spring, community members wrote to ABC50 to nominate women they know making a difference in our communities. One of these women was Jenna Ellinger, who was named ABC50’s 2021 Remarkable Woman of the North Country, and was given $1,000 to donate to the charity of her choice.
Ellinger, like many mothers, says everything she does is for her children. Ellinger experienced a tragedy in 2014 that is every mother’s worst nightmare. Her infant son, Madden, passed away.
Ellinger said she answered a phone call and was told her son wasn’t breathing and she needed to get there immediately. Madden was placed in an unsafe sleep space while under the care of his daycare provider.
“The nurses, they wrapped him up and they put him in my arms and I rocked my son to sleep for the last time that day,” Ellinger said of the last moment she spent with Madden.
Ellinger has dedicated the rest of her life working to prevent similar tragedies from happening to other families by raising funds for education, hosting events and raising awareness through her work at the Victims Assistance Center and the Heartbeats for Madden Foundation.
She shared how the $1,000 donation will help her continue to honor Madden.
“I believe the Victims Assistance Center encompasses everything that the Heartbeats for Madden Foundation set out to do,” stated Ellinger. “They can work together to provide the services that Heartbeats for Madden may not be able to, and give the children of this community all the heartbeats that they deserve moving forward.”
VAC Executive Director Jill Parker added, “this money will certainly help the agency continue to provide direct services to adults and children who have been through a traumatic experience. The agency has been here for 40 years and we continue every day to provide much needed services to all victims of crime.”
The $1,000 was presented to the Victim’s Assistance Center by ABC50’s David Males and Alex Hazard following the Remarkable Women campaign.
Remarkable Women is part of a nationwide Nexstar Media initiative to honor the influence that women have had on public policy, social progress and the quality of life.
Watch her full story in the video above and see more stories of Remarkable Women in the North Country on our Remarkable Women feature.