Jake loved books. As a young boy, he would rather read books during recess than play football with the other boys. I remember his teacher even chastising him – telling him that he needs to run around and get exercise, so she took his book away. I marched into school the very next day to set her straight!-Niki Beddoe
Jake Beddoe was an adventurer. A humanitarian. A deeply compassionate young man, gifted at building connection with others through heart and humor. Jake was brought up in a loving home in Connecticut and was close-knit with his parents Wally and Niki, and his siblings Carly, Kirk, and Amy. He was well educated with a degree in philosophy, a minor in art, and a passion for illustration. And he was committed to sharing his gifts with the world.
After graduating from college, Jake was accepted into the US Peace Corps where he was posted to the Eastern Caribbean island of St. Vincent. Jake’s service included supporting children’s literacy programs by way of a Hands Across the Sea Library at Diamond Government School. He grew extremely close to the Diamond Villagers who became a part of his extended family and world. His Vincentian host mother, Yvette, sends daily messages of faith and hope to her community, which includes Niki, Jake’s mom. Jake’s dear friend and fellow PCV Halli keeps Niki up to date with island happenings.
The devastating loss of Jake came less than one year ago. Today we celebrate what would have been Jake Beddoe’s 26th birthday. His heart and power live on through the impact he made in so many ways, including through the lives of the children he worked with during his time at Diamond Government School.
Spend a few moments with any member of Jake’s family and you will be moved by the sincerity of goodness that overflows from them. The Beddoe family’s commitment to keeping Jake’s intention present through his story and legacy continues to make waves in the world. We have been blown away by the outpouring of kindness and generosity in Jake’s honor. Jake’s siblings created memorial T-shirts with the proceeds going to Hands Across the Sea and are donating a shipment of shirts for us to share with Diamond Government School. Friends and loved ones continue to make contributions to Hands in Jake’s honor.
Today, we are profoundly humbled to launch our Jake Beddoe Fund which will raise support for Hands Across the Sea’s ongoing programmatic work in honor of Jake’s service and commitment to children’s literacy.
From Jake’s mother, Niki:
“Choosing Hands Across the Sea was so perfect (and I’m thankful to Halli, Jake’s Peace Corps buddy, who led me to you). Jake had to early terminate his service in St. Vincent, which was extremely upsetting. He hated to leave his new family behind and kept in touch with his host family once he returned to the states. He had a vacation planned for the end of April to return to St. Vincent and was devastated when COVID-19 ruined his plans. So, as you can see, your organization is so personal to us and Jake would be overjoyed to see his service continued in such a meaningful way.”