Elan Vital Media | Wk 53: On A Mission
Wk 53: On A Mission, pictorial submission featuring Kayde Runyon and photographed by Dyschel Shelton.
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Wk 53: On A Mission

Everybody has their specific girl-next-door type. In general, she is the girl who you always admired, a decent and pure ideal of what a woman should be. She is sweet-natured and someone you can trust and connect with on many levels. This pictorial feature submitted by staff photographer Dyschel Shelton introduces Kayde. A Twenty-year-old college student who comes from a working-class background and who he believes to be the quintessential “Girl Next Door”.  For more interesting pictorials, let Elan Vital magazine and website be your media source to remain up to date on all things art, music and writing related. 

Kayde’s family describes her as a deeply passionate and hardworking individual whose devoted humanitarianism play a central role in her life.


Kayde was named after her parents’ first initials K and D, (pronounced Kay-Dee).


She wears a shock of pink in her hair to raise breast cancer awareness and in a few weeks, she will be cutting off her hair to support her mother who was recently diagnosed with cancer.


From a young age she demonstrated a philanthropic spirit, ministering to people in need within her community.
When Kayde was 8 years old, a flood had temporarily displaced her family to a disaster shelter. At the shelter, Kayde noticed a disabled woman with no blanket. She took one of her blankets and walked over to the woman and laid it over her feet.


On another occasion, she noticed a man who was homeless. Everything he owned was in a rolling basket beside him. It was early winter, and he had found shelter within the library to stay warm. Kayde started to tear up and wanted to help that man. She bought him two warm breakfast sandwiches at the gas station next door.
You could say she grew up preparing for a life in service to others.


She experienced some obstacles in middle school with bullying and had a hard time standing up for herself. She started attending a church that a friend had invited her to and after hearing the song “The more I seek you.” by Kari Jobe, she felt at peace with her circumstances. It was at this point in her life that God became real and personal to her. She came to realize that another person’s opinion of her did not matter. What really mattered was what God’s opinion of her was. This sparked her love for mission work and launched her into service as a missionary.


Kayde started small by working in local festivals to raise money and supplies for her community.
Her efforts spread to outlying cities.
Before long, the girl who had never left her state was traveling to Uruguay, building church extensions and planting food for the hungry with money she raised from raffling off blankets, selling mason jar cookie recipes, selling candy, collecting bottles and cans, and soliciting donations from family and friends through her “Fund Me” webpage.


Kayde describes her experiences in Uruguay as “incredible”.
She was welcomed by the families there and made friends with most the children. She says the poverty level in Uruguay is great and observed people having to wear the same clothes every day. Most could not afford toilet seats because they were too expensive. Yet they shared their food with her. She recalled that, “Despite their circumstances, they were so happy to give.”


Upon returning to the United States, Kayde’s view of the world had changed and she has doubled her efforts to help those in need both here and abroad.


She wants to return to Uruguay someday and visit Ecuador as well.
For most people community service would be accomplishment enough. Yet, remarkably, she continues to raise support for international outreach. She also finds time to pursue art through charcoal drawing.


While Kayde possesses outer beauty, it is her deep dedication to helping people in need which is reflected by the scope and depth of her missionary pursuits that really allows her inner beauty to shine.
It is for this reason that I believe Kayde is a true American Girl Next Door.


Thanks to Kayde’s family, Keith, Dawn, Laura and Jennifer for their insight and support with this article.

Model – Kayde Runyon



Photographer – Dyschel Shelton




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