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!

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JoAnn (on the left) has been volunteering at the Jessie Rees Foundation and spreading the gift of Joy since February 2012.

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

A: I actually had a friend, Mary, on Facebook whose daughter was a classmate of Jessie’s. As Mary would comment on posts that Jessie published, I also began following Jessie’s story. Jessie would do almost a daily blog and feature “Would You Rather” questions, such as, would you rather jump in a pool of spaghetti or jump in a pool of jello? She eventually got a Facebook page that I started following which helped me continue to stay connected to her story.

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

I started by making JoyJars in the Joy Factory, which was great because that was just the start behind the foundation and Jessie’s mission. Then as the foundation has grown we’ve evolved into shipping different types of Joy, such as, power packs, family packs, and sending out merchandise that people have purchased. The very first event that I was involved in was the annual NEGU golf tournament in September. Cheryl, who works at the foundation asked me if I would be willing to help and organize the volunteers at the golf tournament. I started volunteering in February of 2012 and we started planning for the golf tournament around June of that year. This was great because I was able to meet a lot of different people, due to the fact that I really didn’t know anyone involved prior to volunteering. The very first thing I did was coordinate the volunteers then that transitioned into working registration with Connie. That’s been fun because you’re interacting with the golfers and they are so enthusiastic and so supportive throughout the entire day. They are so happy to be there and they are thanking us for having them at the end of the day.  

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

A: I actually learned how to crochet on one of the looms to make beanies for the JoyJars. I started bringing the beanies to the Joy Factory and stuffing them into JoyJars. Then subsequent to that a mom posted a picture of her little boy, Connor who was probably 1 or 2 years old, and he had the beanie on that I had made. It was darling! It was a close up, he had blue eyes, and the beanie was a powdered blue color. It was really neat to see that it had reached him and she was nice enough to send the picture. I’ll always remember that.

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

A: Pink! I like hearts and I like all different shades of pink, I think it’s a vibrant color, it symbolizes life, and it’s a color that I just gravitate to.

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

A: I would bring a book, a journal, and I’m behind on my scrapbooks so I would all of my supplies and see what I could do.

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

A: It would be, to grant a wish that others have and have it come true.

 Q: Would you rather…have hiccups for the rest of your life or always feel like you need to sneeze but not able to?

A: Always feel like you need to sneeze but not able to.