In 2014 Kevin Kelly a native of Ahascragh Co Galway and his wife Sue a native of Barford near Norwich in the UK started collecting some coats for the homeless from their home in Carlow.
What was meant to be no more than 100 jackets turned into an organisation called The Jacket off Your Back and by 2017 they had collected and shipped enough clothing for 1 million Syrian refugees, in 2016 alone they collected and shipped 50,000 pairs of shoes.
In September 2017 Kevin and Sue travelled to the Atlas Mountains for a holiday and decided to return before Christmas with gifts for children in a Berber village
In March 2018 they decided on a new project called A Mother Journey. Just before mother’s day, they returned with 15 people including Irish actor John Connors to deliver washing machines to 20 Berber mothers who would otherwise wash their clothing in the stream. During this visit they built a shop so a family with 3 members who have diabetes could have some sort of sustainability
In August 2018 they returned again this time to build a playground that was financed by different groups around Ireland
In November 2018 Kevin and Sue arrived back in a village high in the Atlas Mountains to build an Irrigation system.
After a year’s break they returned again in September 2019 to build 100m of road to make the village more accessible. On this trip Sue by pure chance spotted a small baby with Down Syndrome, they called him Ben for the sake of his security and privacy.
In November Kevin and Sue returned to The Atlas Mountains to help Santa Claus deliver gifts to the children of the Village, on this trip Kevin asked about planting trees and building a small health centre. They agreed to purchase a small building so it can have various uses.
In the meantime Ben has become a bit of a superstar, but how could they secure Ben’s future and more like him.
In January 2020 Tom their son travelled to Morocco and this was his 2nd trip there, the difference this time, it was by himself, a week before this Ciara their youngest daughter bought her dad a gift of 10 trees planted in the Amazon. This got Kevin thinking even more about trees and how they can help the local villagers while soaking up tonnes of carbon.
Kevin phoned Tom while he was on route to the village to spend the night there sleeping in a Berber home. He asked him to buy 2 trees and plant them, Tom choice of trees was very sensible, 2 orange trees.
They then decided to plant 150 trees at least 30% fruit and nuts in this village and more poor communities like it.
Each tree would be purchased our followers and gifted to the villagers; each tree would have a label with the donor’s name on it and the donor would receive a photo with a location on it. For a few extra euro they would receive a certificate
Kevin and Sue Kelly have 2 daughters Ciara and Grace and a son Tom, all 3 have been brought up with the environment in mind and to care for their fellow human beings, it is certainly working out that way