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TO GIVE, TO INSPIRE | Kayla's Hope, St. Charles

Established in 2018 by the Lehmann Family in Loving Memory of their Daughter & Sister, Kayla Brooke Lehmann

ST. CHARLES–Our thoughts and emotions are often just that – ours. Sharing those feelings when you are down is intimidating as you don’t always have an explanation for sadness or depression. In a world that seems to be screaming dissension, ugliness and tragedy, sources for kindness, love and understanding get lost, especially with those navigating mental illness.

Kayla’s Hope Foundation out of St. Charles is working to change that by offering assistance to those who struggle and hope to those who need it most. The foundation was established in 2018 by the Lehmann family in loving memory of their daughter and sister, Kayla Brooke Lehmann, when she lost her battle with severe depression. “Kayla loved to create and listen to music and read more books than most people do in a lifetime,” says Ruthie Lehmann, Kayla’s mother and Founder of Kayla’s Hope. “She felt isolated in her depression even though she was surrounded with loving friends and family. She wanted more than anything to be happy.”

Their mission is to help remove the stigma of mental illness and change the way we see and care for those suffering. The foundation works on programs to provide more care, kindness, and hope…especially for youth, as well as contributes financial support to mental health organizations and grants scholarships to high school seniors with a passion for music, literature, or psychology. “We want people to know it is okay to not be okay,” says Ruthie, “and it’s so important to seek help and feel comfortable doing so.”

Since its inception, Kayla’s Hope Foundation has raised nearly $200,000 to help fund and achieve their goals. It is important for them to also create opportunities to spread encouragement and kindness to the community. One of the ways they have achieved this is the development of Kayla’s Kindness Rock Garden located in St. Charles in the Fox Mill Subdivision. The rocks are painted by the community and at events with uplifting messages, beautiful art and lots of hope. Take a rock if you need a reason to smile or add a rock or two if you want to spread kindness.

Recently, the foundation had its biggest annual fundraising event - Kayla’s Hope Week. It runs the first week of April with a kick-off of a Masters Golf raffle, silent auction, a free family-friendly rock painting event and culminates with the Hope Blooms Celebration event night.

There are many opportunities for the community to get involved no matter what age. For more information or to donate, you can visit or follow them on social media –

Facebook: KaylasHope03

Instagram: @Kaylashopefoundation and

Twitter: @kaylashope2022


Mindy Kyle is passionate about helping people discover what brings them joy and to live a full, healthy and happy life. She has her Master of Fine Arts degree in creative writing from DePaul University and is a veteran of Chicago’s theater and commercial world as well as a graduate of the Second City Improv School. Mindy lives in Naperville with her husband, three children and the cutest dogs in the land.


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