TeamNEGU Blog

We could not fulfill Jessie’s mission without the help of incredible volunteers around the nation. Check out this story on one of our incredible volunteers that is helping us spread joy! 

Maddie is seventeen years old and attends Rancho Santa Margarita Catholic High School, located in Mission Viejo, CA.

maddieQuestion: How did you first hear about Jessie and her story?

Answer: “Well my sister is a swimmer and she swam for the Nadadores team and we heard about Jessie through that team. We are also really good friends with the Hughes family, so we also discovered the Jessie Rees Foundation through them and that’s when I first decided to volunteer here.”

Q: What duties have you had while volunteering at the Jessie Rees Foundation?

A: “I have done a bunch of different things, but I started off doing a lot JoyJar stuffing for hospitals and personalized birthday JoyJars. I currently do a lot of labeling, sorting toys, and more managerial work to try and keep the JoyFactory organized for the foundation.”

Q: What is the most memorable toy that you have stuffed in a Joy Jar?

A: “There are such good toys here, but I really enjoy stuffing the personalized JoyJars because they let you know exactly what the Courageous Kid likes. I remember that there was this little kid, I believe he was turning two, and it said that he loved Mickey Mouse. I began looking all over the Joy Factory for Mickey Mouse items and I found this Mickey Mouse stuffed animal in the back corner of the Joy Factory storage room and I was so excited when I found it because I knew it would put a smile on his face!”

Q: If you could choose a crayon color to describe yourself, what would it be?

A: “I would choose orange because it’s my favorite color and it’s bright and super fun!”

Q: If you were on an island, could only bring 3 items, what would they be?

A: “I would bring my family or my best friend, depending on the kind of trip! I would also bring some pen and paper because I like to write my thoughts and ideas down and a camera!”

Q: What’s a favorite memory of yours while volunteering at the foundation?

A: “I had a National Charity League group that came in a few months that had a bunch of students that were my same grade, so it was fun to able to see them and help out with their group. It was great to teach them about the foundation and Jessie’s wish.”

Q: If you could be a superhero, what would you want your superpowers to be?

A: “I would probably want to fly, because it would be super fun! If I could choose a second superpower I would want to be able to be invisible!”

Q: Would you rather… Never shower again OR Never brush your teeth again?

A: “Probably never brush my teeth again, because I really need to shower! Showers relax me and I like feeling clean and I like going to sleep with my hair wet because it keeps me calm.”