Our Story

On November 7, 2013, Kellie Rynn Martin was born to Kathryn and Ashley Martin. Kellie Rynn is their first child, as well as the first grandchild and great-grandchild on both sides. She was happy, healthy, and beautiful; she was the light of her family. But on February 21, 2014, at 3 ½ months old, Kellie Rynn passed away from suffocation as a result of negligence in an in-home childcare center. This specific center had come highly recommended, and on the surface was a great place to leave a child. However, over time, it was discovered that many laws and regulations were not being followed. After months of investigation, Kellie Rynn's caregiver pled guilty to Child Neglect (felony), Obstruction of Justice and Unlawful Operation of a Daycare. She received 18 months house arrest, 5 years probation and 23 hours of community service. This is currently the harshest sentence a caregiver has received in SC regarding the neglect of children in the home. Kellie Rynn's story was featured throughout Greenville's local news, as well as CNN and Nancy Grace.

Kellie Rynn’s loved ones have made it their mission to impact childcare in South Carolina. Kathryn and Ashley have spoken before the S.C. Senate and the S.C. House of Representatives.  Kellie Rynn's mother, Kathryn, is currently working with SC legislators on Kellie Rynn's Law to enhance these penalties that childcare providers face when a child is seriously injured or killed in their care.

As part of the fight, friends, family, and supporters throughout the state and country have come together to create the Kellie Rynn Academy in Greenville, S.C. The Academy works to provide scholarships, to deserving families, for child care in locations that meet our high standards.  Kellie Rynn Academy also provides training for families in CPR, sleep safety, fire safety,car seat safety etc...

Kellie Rynn’s favorite song was This Little Light of Mine. When her parents sang it to her, she lit up. Through the Kellie Rynn Academy she will forever light the way for other children to grow in safe, nurturing, child care centers throughout the Upstate.

Let it Shine, Let it Shine, Let it Shine.


For more information on Kellie Rynn's story, go to: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/11/pamela-wood-baby-death-daycare_n_4943063.html

Why the Cardinal?

Kellie Rynn loved watching the cardinal family that lived in her backyard. They were a vibrant red so they were easy to see. On the day Kellie Rynn passed away, the cardinal family was gone. They had left the Martin's home and weren't seen for two weeks. Kellie Rynn's parents, Ashley and Kathryn left town for a weekend and when they returned the cardinal family was back. They have never left and are always spotted around Kellie Rynn's family, even in the window of the hospital room where Kellie Rynn's little brother was born. 

Cardinal Angels

Four of the seven Archangels are considered Cardinal Angels, and they are Michael, Gabriel, Raphael and Uriel. Cardinal Angels are tasked with influencing and inspiring large groups, such as cultures and nations. This is very similar to the Native American belief that Spirit offers guidance, protection and direction through messengers.

Red Cardinal Sightings

The red cardinal has played many prominent roles throughout our history. It continues to be an important part of our human experience, especially in bridging the gap between Earth and Spirit and bringing the wisdom of the Universe to our doorstep in a bright and beautiful way. All we have to do is pay attention.

              Kellie Rynn Martin      11/07/2013-2/21/2014

              Kellie Rynn Martin      11/07/2013-2/21/2014