Parents of slain hostage Kayla Mueller donate $120k to nonprofit

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Kayla Mueller (Source: Photo courtesy of family) Kayla Mueller (Source: Photo courtesy of family)
Kayla Mueller (Source: Photo courtesy of family) Kayla Mueller (Source: Photo courtesy of family)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5/AP) -

This week marks the second anniversary of the death of Kayla Mueller, the Prescott woman who was captured and killed by Islamic State group militants.

Now, her parents are making a major donation to the nonprofit Doctors Without Borders, an organization that was close to their daughter's heart.

Mueller's parents say they will give $120,000 to the organization to help establish an endowment in Kayla Mueller's name to support medical and humanitarian aid programs.

The official name of the newly established endowment is "Kayla's Hands - the Kayla Mueller Memorial Endowment Fund."  

Mueller's parents also said they will be dissolving "Kayla's Hands," the charitable foundation they had started in their daughter's name.

Mueller was taken hostage with her boyfriend, Omar Alkhani, in August 2013 after leaving a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Aleppo, Syria, where he had been hired to fix the internet service for the hospital. Alkhani was released after two months, having been beaten.

Mueller's death was confirmed in February 2015.

READ MORE: [American ISIS hostage Kayla Mueller dead, family says]

The Muellers said they keep a Doctors Without Borders map that Kayla had kept since she was a college student pinned up on the wall.

The family released the following statement this week. It reads, in part:

"Our hearts still break for Kayla.  Despite being a victim of war crimes, her powerful letters home to us during her captivity revealed a God given strength and conviction to do what she could to help others and herself survive.  Kayla's letters revealed a peace that has truly helped us continue on in hopes of one day bringing her home.  This is where we must focus our time and energy."

"Kayla devoted her life to helping others.  Kayla's heart was for the innocent children thrown into a life they should never be in; for moms trying to raise them alone and for families that needed help to stay as one; and for the soldiers, reporters and humanitarian workers who have seen such horror as well.  She wanted to help heal wounded hearts, minds and bodies bringing happiness and joy to all she could.  It was this commitment that drove her to help victims in shelters near our home in Prescott, Arizona and to leave home for far away places she felt called to help.  She spent her life working for those who needed it most, using her voice to amplify those of others, and standing in solidarity with people as they struggle for their own rights and dignity.  Even in captivity, she gave comfort to the Yazidi girls held with her and others suffering around her.  If there was work to be done in service to others, she did it."

"Our hope is that this endowment in Kayla's name will continue to grow with new support and from those who have generously supported it in the past.  We know Kayla would want every penny to go toward any and every effort that seeks to meet the ever-growing demands of this unsettled world, bringing the medical and humanitarian help needed with kindness and goodness, carrying Kayla into the world wherever they go."

Other funds from Kayla's Hands will be donated to organizations that do the kind of work Kayla Mueller had supported, including Save the Children and the Syrian American Medical Society, and to the Kiwanis Club of Prescott, which built a playground in her name.

[READ MORE: Playground dedicated to ISIS hostage Kayla Mueller opens in Prescott]

For those interested in learning more about Kayla, her passions and accomplishments, please visit www.forkayla.org, which was created by friends of Kayla while she was in captivity.?

Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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