Founder and Executive Director
Carissa's background is in education, graduating from Bethel University and then receiving a Master of Education from the University of Minnesota. She taught at the elementary and collegiate levels before an unexpected diagnosis and a sweet baby boy named Jack, changed her heart and passion. After an abrupt and assumptive diagnosis experience after the birth of their son, Carissa felt led to start Jack's Basket. She wanted to make a change for future parents, ensuring that they felt their child was a reason to celebrate and opportunities to connect within the community. Carissa spends her days presenting 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 baskets, blogging, speaking to various groups, and meeting with potential donors.
Jack’s Basket Development
As a volunteer since early 2017, Deanna is excited to now be in the role of administrative assistant where she can continue to support the mission of Jack's Basket. Prior to becoming a mom, she was the Director of Community Programs for the Minneapolis Regional Chamber of Commerce where she managed the Leadership Twin Cities program, Quality of Life Awards and the Keystone Program. She is passionate about assisting Carissa, the Board of Directors and our amazing volunteers to ensure that every baby with Down syndrome is celebrated and every family that receives a diagnosis is well-informed. This mission is especially dear to her heart because her youngest child, Molly, rocks an extra chromosome - just like Jack.