2012 has been an amazing year for The Joy Team. In January we started The Junior Joy Team to help children ages 5-12 to discover the warmth of spreading joy and building community. With hand-drawn notes of appreciation in Happy Packets the kids assembled themselves, The Junior Joy Team started by spreading joy to Vancouver City Hall. After partnering with Hough Elementary School to do a monthly program, together the 300 students of Hough and The Junior Joy Team spread joy, optimism and inspiration to the Vancouver Police Department, school bus drivers, and the Humane Society. Just days before Christmas we hung over 350 happy thoughts on Main Street and in Esther Short Park in a Random Words of Kindness parade.
For Words Matter Week, The Junior Joy Team kids and their friends starred in a video about the power and meaning of words. In this feel-good video, the kids emphasized the influence words have over us from various locations in the new Fort Vancouver Library where words are plentiful and intended to be mindfully consumed.
In May we waved positive messages over I-5 to bring smiles to thousands of commuters during rush hour traffic.
For the second annual Chalk the Walks we involved over 450 people in spreading positive messages in 4 countries (Australia, Canada, Norway and US) and at least 36 U.S. states on August 21st using sidewalk chalk. The Joy Team and other community members, including Mayor Tim Leavitt and Representative Jim Moeller, chalked Main Street in Uptown Village, Vancouver.
In August we started the PB & JOY Project to provide food for body and soul to hungry kids. 1 in 4 children in Clark County are living in food insecurity; which is higher than the national average of 1 in 5. We put The Junior Joy Team’s positive messages on labels generously donated by Taylor Made Labels of Lake Oswego, Oregon. The kids have gathered each month to wrap jars of donated peanut butter with their inspiring messages since August. We take the joy-wrapped jars to Share for the Backpack Program, which sends backpacks of food home each Friday with school-age kids in Clark County who wouldn’t otherwise eat on the weekend. As of December 2012, over 1,100 jars of PB & JOY have gone home with kids in need, and over 700 more jars are ready and waiting for the first of the year. Our goal is to provide 1,300 18-oz plastic jars of peanut butter wrapped in positive messages every month.
In September our 501c3 designation was granted from the IRS, making all donations to The Joy Team tax deductible Special thanks to Board Member Carol McKeag for donating her time and services for this accomplishment.
Science finds more evidence every day that being happy and having a positive outlook improves our physical and mental health, makes us live longer, build stronger relationships and live more abundant, successful lives. Joy matters. Not just for us individually, but as a society, as well.
Please join us in our mission of building community through spreading joy, optimism and inspiration by making a tax deductible donation to The Joy Team. You can donate online at TheJoyTeam.org or mail a check to The Joy Team, 3012 NE 43rd Street, Vancouver, WA 98663.
Thank you, for all YOU do to make the world a happy place. We wish you, our community and the whole world much joy, love and laughter.