In 2007 Lydia Van Kress, ran away from home. The family created "For Love of Lydia" to help others reunite with loved ones and hope that one day they too will know the joy of seeing a loved once thought to never return.
The Van Kress family knows firsthand the grief and anxiety of being separated from a loved one. Victoria Van Kress has often said when asked about her work with the charity, "I don't want others to have to live through the years of uncertainty that my family has."
To this day, the charity still gets dozens of calls each year from people who think they've seen Lydia in different parts of the world. Although the family follows up on every single lead, Victoria admits that sometimes the search seems futile.
Lydia Van Kress may someday come home; until then, Victoria will keep looking for her and will keep helping other families in similar circumstances.
When the Van Kress family created the charity For Love of Lydia, Victoria threw herself into the work at once. Being just a year apart from Lydia they were inseparable, and the disappearance of Lydia changed Victoria's path in life forever. She started off by manning phones on the tip lines, hoping she'd be the one to get the call that would help her find her cousin. After a couple of years, she became the face of the charity, constantly lobbying to help families that had been torn apart. In an interview, she once said that she saw Lydia in the face of every runaway. She also expressed private guilt and grief over not having been able to help her cousin with whatever she was struggling with prior to her leaving home.
Christmas came early this year for the Sutton family. Tears of joy were the order of the day as Victoria Van Kress reunited Mr. and Mrs. Carl Sutton of Ohio with their son, Tyler, three days before Christmas.
For Love of Lydia is currently fully staffed and we ask that interested parties find similar charities where they can help. This is important work and we can still accomplish a lot if we work together.