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!

Annie Alvarado recently graduated Rancho Santa Margarita Catholic High School. She has been volunteering at the Jessie Rees Foundation for 2 years and was also apart of the NEGU club at her school. 


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

Answer: I heard about Jessie’s story during my freshmen year of high school. I had heard about her right before she earned her wings and then became more aware of her story right after she moved to heaven. I am pretty good friends with Shaya, Jessie’s older sister, and I think all throughout Mission Viejo I began to see NEGU signs. That’s when I was like, “Wow”, Jessie’s really making a huge impact.

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

A: At the Rancho Santa Margarita festival I promoted Jessie’s story and sold NEGU merchandise. In the JoyFactory I’ve stuffed JoyJars and assembled Joy packages. I remember once I worked with the Courageous Cupcake stand which was fun!

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

A: The most memorable toy that I can think of is the beanies, because there just so cute and comforting for the courageous kids.

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

A: Surreal Blue! It’s very serene and calming, I like to think that I keep my cool too.  

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

A: Paper & pen, because I’m always writing. A watch, because I always need to know what time it is. Finally, a reliable ponytail.

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

A: I remember once there was a group from Amazon that came in and there was one guy that was clearly the leader of the whole group and Kristy, Community Engagement at the Joy Factory, told him it would be great if they could stuff 100 JoyJars while they were there. The boss confidently said they would go above and beyond and make 200! I think he was really touched by the video featuring Jessie and her story.

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

A: I would want my superpower to be to read people’s minds!

Q: Would you rather (Jessie loved these!)…have free Starbucks for a year or free Itunes music forever?

A: Itunes music, no doubt, hands down!