TeamNEGU Blog


One of our most favorite things to do is to spend time with our heroes – Courageous Kids who inspire us every day to Never Ever Give Up! The Jessie Rees Foundation has made countless Special Connection hospital visits with our TeamNEGU All-Stars – visiting hospitals, delivering JoyJars and most importantly loving on the kids in treatment and encouraging them to NEVER EVER GIVE UP! 

Before a hospital visit, the Jessie Rees Foundation team works with the hospital staff on logistics and ensure that we come equipped with more than enough JoyJars for all the kids in treatment. Behind the scenes, volunteers get busy stuffing those awesome JoyJars in preparation for Courageous Kids to open them! As always, each JoyJar is stuffed to the rim with hospital-approved, age appropriate toys and games.

Once the JoyJars are ready, members of our TeamNEGU All-Stars pack up and head out to the hospital. As NEGU All-Stars visit with each of the kids, they hand them a JoyJar, encourage them with support and let them know that they have an entire community of NEGU supporters encouraging them. 

We are honored to have Kaitlin Sandeno Hogan, 4-time Olympic medalist and Jessie Rees Foundation National Spokesperson, and her former teammate Allison Schmitt visit Courageous Kids fighting cancer at Phoenix Children’s Hospital on Thursday! 

“When we get to go into children’s hospitals to deliver Jessie’s JoyJars, it is so special. Jessie really knew what she was up to when she created her JoyJars because when we get to deliver them to the kids at the hospital they never fail to bring a smile to their face. As we walk around the floor of the pediatric oncology floor, it is hard to think about all of the stories of these families journeys, but team NEGU arrives to give those families hope, joy and love and a JoyJar to encourage them to Never Ever Give Up,” Kaitlin said. “It means a lot to me to get to be a part of the Jessie Rees Foundation. After meeting Jessie when she was battling this terrible disease, she left a big mark on my heart. I take my opportunity to spread joy to families all over the country very seriously and I do that because I feel like Jessie left me with a passion to encourage and spread joy.”

It is so special to see the smiles on the faces of kids fighting cancer and to get to open up JoyJars with them, Kaitlin and Allison were able to spread lots of JOY!





We have been so inspired by the compassion of people, corporations, athletes, teams, schools and clubs across the world. Their involvement has made us who we are today. We truly are better together!  Thank you Kaitlin and Allison for spending time this holiday season spreading JOY to kids fighting cancer!