11 October 2013

Jars of Joy

(My sister, Jeannie, steps in again for tonight's blog about a wonderful cause called JoyJars. Do yourself a favor and watch the video by Kid President--if you haven't seen his interviews with celebrities like Josh Groban and Beyonce, you're missing out. But it turns out that Kid President has a background that no child should to endure. I love JoyJars!- Melinda)

Allison, one of my close friends from the amazing book club to which I belong (yes, we do drink wine, but we also actually do read the books and have great discussions) introduced me to JoyJars. Her incredible 11-year old. daughter, Madison, has childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and recently received a JoyJar from a family friend. Madison and her family are another blog unto itself, which I will write later. Go Team Madison…Fight like a Girl!
JoyJars were created by a young girl, Jessie Rees, during her courageous 10-month fight with two brain tumors, to which she ultimately succumbed. She used her JoyJars to spread hope, joy, and love to children fighting life-altering medical illnesses.  Free to patients and hospitals, they are stuffed with love and filled with new toys and activities (they can be individualized) for boys and girls ages 18 and under. I loved the assortment of items that came in Madison’s jar, many of them emblazoned with the acronym NEGU started by Jessie – Never Ever Give Up. In fact, before being renamed the Jessie Rees Foundation, her original foundation was called the NEGU Foundation.
What I also learned from Allison was that one of my favorite children, Kid President (seriously, if you’ve never seen him, you have got to watch his Soul Pancake/YouTube videos – the kid’s a natural with the best laugh in the world) has had to deal with a childhood congenital disease that has lead to 70% of his bones being broken. Now you would never know that this hilariously poised child had ever dealt with this, but here he is, plugging away asking how we can “spread the joy.” He did a great (and short) video about JoyJars. It is very uplifting, too. 

So today’s charity helps more kids, who are already dealing with so much, receive JoyJars. Thank you, Jessie!

-Jeannie Newman

Oct. 11: JoyJars

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