Remembering Kaity Kinard: She Supported Her Local Community, Now The Community Is Supporting Her Family After Her Death
by James Coulter
She was a caring soul willing to help anyone including complete strangers. Now her community is helping her family place her to rest following her untimely passing.
Kaity Kinard, 22, passed away following a car accident on Mar. 22. Her boyfriend, Landon Chance, who was in the car with her during the accident, remains at Lawnwood Medical Center following his first surgery.
A time, place, and date for her memorial service has yet to be scheduled. Her family plans on transporting her body to South Carolina to be buried on her family’s farm near her father’s grave.
To help provide her family with the sufficient funds, a GoFundMe page was created by three close friends of the family: Jessica Garrett, Lynn Robarts, and Regena Lawrence.
“Kaity Kinard was a beautiful soul with the sweetest smile, kindest voice, biggest personality and a light that shined every time she walked into a room,” the mission statement on her page reads. “As one can expect, Kaity’s family was not prepared to bury their 22 year old daughter.”
The GoFundMe goal was set for $10,000. Within less than 24 hours, their goal was more than exceeded with $13,300 raised by 193 donors, with her page receiving more than 3,000 shares and 193 followers.
Most of the funds will be primarily used to help transport her to her final resting place in South Carolina. Any remaining funds will go towards a scholarship in her honor.
Her GoFundMe wall features posts from donors who offered their condolences for her family, as well as their fond memories of the young woman named Kaity Kinard and her “celebration of life.”
“I can not imagine the sadness and pain you must be in,” wrote Chris Castner, who donated $50. “I do not know if any words will help. You and Trent are in my thoughts and prayers. She will always be with you in your memories.”
“I’m so sorry for your loss, wish I could do more,” wrote Leona Adams, who donated $10. “I will be praying for you and your family!”
Regena Lawrence decided to create the GoFundMe page to help support Kaity’s family during their time of need. She was more than impressed, though not necessarily surprised, to see that their fundraiser more than exceeded expectations.
“The community has really come together,” she said. “Between her family and her work, a lot of people knew her….Kaity made a huge impact on many people’s lives, and just a very bright person, and it is a tragedy.”
Known affectionately as “K.T. Bug” by friends and family, Kaity was born in South Carolina and raised in Frostproof. To close family and friends, she was considered a genuinely caring individual, someone who would help anyone regardless of whether or not she knew them personally.
“She really, genuinely, was such a good person,” said Paige Castle, her aunt. “She never met a stranger [she didn’t like]. She cared for every person she had ever met.”
Her empathy and compassion for others inspired her to be a nurse. After receiving her associate’s degree from Florida State University in Tallahassee, she transferred to Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Myers to attend its nursing program. She would have graduated with her bachelor’s degree in nursing in December.
“She was really excited about her next chapter in life, she was passionate about nursing and caring for others,” Paige said. “She went into nursing because she cared. She wanted to care about people.”
Kaity worked alongside her mother, Ginny Marie Castle, at The COOP in Babson Park. She often went above and beyond to help with many charity events and fundraisers, both at her family’s business and in other places across the county.
Recently, she assisted her family with their krewe at Lake Wales Mardi Gras, helping organize the float and to distribute raffle tickets. She also helped her family provide deliveries and take out during the current coronavirus pandemic.
Her very last Facebook post on Mar. 20 at 6:26 p.m. expressed her gratitude for her family and urged her community to support their local businesses such as their own.
“Proud of my mom for handling all of this with grace,” she wrote. “Don’t forget to continue to support your local businesses instead of large corporations [because] we are hurting.”
Following her daughter’s death, her mother, Ginny, wrote how much she missed her daughter and how much she appreciated the community supporting them during their darkest hour through donations and social media comments.
“My baby girl was one of a kind,” she wrote. “There will never be another K.T. Bugg, my heart is broken and I am having a hard time even making it hour to hour. I am very[,] very thankful for each of you!”
Regena, following the outpouring of support on GoFundMe, wrote on Ginny’s Facebook wall, telling her how much Kaity meant to them and how much of a great mother she was.
“I know somedays are going to be hard but we both know KT was an amazing, smart, beautiful, strong young lady that loved her momma with her whole heart and she will always be your baby,” she wrote.
To donate to her family and their cause, visit her GoFundMe page at: www.gofundme.com/celebration-of-life-for-kaity-kinard
To donate to Landon for finanical, Medical and emotional support: https://www.gofundme.com/f/financial-support-for-the-chance039s