Yeardley Love was cherished by the Virginia lacrosse community for her fun-loving attitude and contagious energy. Earlier this month, a statue of the joyous Love was built outside the U.S. Lacrosse national headquarters in Maryland to commemorate the 10-year anniversary of her tragic death.
Love was killed by an abusive ex-boyfriend in 2010 while still a member of the Virginia lacrosse program. The statue, and the One Love Foundation, ensures that her legacy lives on for years to come.
The One Love Foundation, which was created in Love’s honor, helps educate people about the signs of healthy and unhealthy relationships. The organization has educated more than a million young people through educational workshops.
“We are very happy and proud to have Yeardley’s legacy live on through the One Love foundation and are thrilled to have her statue at U.S. Lacrosse,” Sharon Robinson, the One Love Foundation Board Chair and Love’s cousin, said. “Yeardley loved to play lacrosse, and the USL hosts many visitors each year, who we hope will be inspired by the good work of One Love.”
Brian Hanlon, an accomplished sculptor, created the statue of Love. Hanlon, the official master sculptor for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, reached out about making the sculpture shortly after Love’s death.
The work of art is complete and has a home.
With May 2020 marking the 10-year anniversary of Love’s death, the One Love Foundation reached out to U.S. Lacrosse about being the home of the statue. Robinson said U.S. Lacrosse was “excited and committed to making it happen.”
Earlier this month, the commitment became a reality.
A plaque on Love’s memorial says, “In honor of Yeardley Reynolds Love who exemplified kindness throughout her life and continues to inspire us all through the work of the One Love Foundation.”
Additionally, a quote from author Margaret Mead is on the memorial. It reads, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
The quote resonates with the One Love Foundation, which works tirelessly to help education young people about healthy and safe relationships.
“We started One Love with just a handful of people who knew and loved Yeardley, and now it is a national leader in educating the next generation on relationship health,” Robinson said. “We have nearly 25,000 volunteers across the country who are making a significant impact in their communities, and we want to honor all of them for the important work that they do.”
Love’s death, if people close to her had recognized the warning signs of an abusive relationship, could have been prevented. The tragic loss led Love’s family and those at the One Love Foundation to make a commitment to helping others avoid a similar fate, while also promoting healthy relationships.
Their workshops aim to teach people how to recognize healthy and unhealthy behaviors in relationships. There’s also an emphasis on how to practice healthy behaviors when you’re in a relationship.
The work will continue for the foundation, which aims to uphold Love’s legacy on a daily basis. The statue is yet another way to keep Love’s legacy and the message of the One Love Foundation present in people’s minds.
“I am so moved by how many people have stepped up to support One Love,” Sharon Love, Yeardley’s mother and the founder of One Love, said in statement. “The future generations are the change makers, and I am so proud to see them working to stop relationship abuse.”