Founder and Executive Director
Carissa has a Bachelor of Arts in health and physical education from Bethel University, and a Master of Education in applied kinesiology with an emphasis in developmental adaptive physical education from the University of Minnesota. Carissa felt led to start Jack's Basket when her own son, Jack, was born with Down syndrome. After an abrupt and assumptive diagnosis experience, she wanted to make a change for future parents, ensuring that they felt their child was a reason to celebrate. Carissa spends her days speaking to medical professionals about how to deliver the diagnosis without bias, working with the Jack's Basket board to further the mission, connecting with volunteers who deliver local baskets, blogging, and meeting with potential donors.
Kailyn has a Bachelor of Arts in graphic design with an emphasis in business and a minor in English literature from Bethel University. She has known Carissa since middle school, where Carissa was her gym teacher. As Kailyn was approaching her graduation from Bethel University, she saw that Jack's Basket was hiring and immediately knew it was a place she wanted to work. Kailyn spends most of her time in the office, working with volunteers, answering emails, posting on social media, acquiring in-kind donations for the baskets, putting together and shipping the baskets themselves, and keeping things organized and running smoothly.