LOCAL NEWS

Family launches foundation in remembrance of loved one who drowned in Puerto Rico

Feb 21, 2024, 10:30 PM | Updated: Feb 22, 2024, 7:38 am

SALT LAKE CITY — In the wake of tragedy, one Utah family found solace and healing through service.

Ben Kerbs tragically drowned in Puerto Rico late last year. He left behind a legacy of love that his family is now carrying forward through acts of kindness.

Candace Yocum, Kerbs’ sister, recalls a conversation she had with her brother just before his untimely passing. At the time, she didn’t fully grasp the significance of his words, but now, as she spearheads the foundation named after him, it’s become crystal clear.

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“When he passed, I couldn’t get out of bed,” Yocum said. Yet, in her darkest moments, she has felt her brother’s presence urging her on.

“He’s pushing. He was a pusher when he was here, he’s a pusher now,” she said.

Twice a week, Yocum’s daughter, Emily Butler, loads up her truck with food and warm clothing, ready to extend a helping hand to those in need.

“There’s a lot of people that need help,” Butler said. “An extra blanket or jacket goes a long way.”

The family now provides food and clothing to the homeless from the Quality Inn parking lot near 7200 South and Cottonwood Street.

Among those benefiting from their kindness is a man named Cordero, who finds comfort and companionship in the community they’ve created.

“They’re just like family to me because I’m here all alone,” Cordero said. “I have nobody, and they just welcomed me with open arms.”

It’s this spirit of inclusivity and compassion that defined Kerbs’ life, and it’s a legacy his family said they are proud to uphold.

“He said, ‘You and I have been chosen, Candy.’ And I didn’t know what that meant when he died, but now I know,” Yocum said.

She believes he wanted her to serve others.

The BK Outreach group, named in Kerbs’ honor, relies on donations to sustain its efforts. The group collaborates with organizations like The Other Side Village and Soap 2 Hope to expand their reach and impact. Their goal is simple yet profound: to continue helping others in their community, just as Kerbs would have wanted.

BK Outreach has a Venmo* account set up for those who may want to help contribute and participate in the legacy Ben Kerbs carries on. Donations can be sent to @Bk-Outreach.

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*KSL TV does not assure that the money deposited to the account will be applied for the benefit of the persons named as beneficiaries. If you are considering a deposit to the account, you should consult your own advisers and otherwise proceed at your own risk.

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Family launches foundation in remembrance of loved one who drowned in Puerto Rico