In a world where connections are increasingly superficial, we aim to foster meaningful human connections by offering unique programs for groups and individuals to provide food and necessities to the homeless population in their communities.
JoyJ provides essential support to local homeless populations through direct outreach programs. These unique programs provide volunteers with opportunities to engage in “spontaneous philanthropy”. This differentiating aspect of our organization powerfully impacts both volunteers and those on the receiving end, extending far beyond the physical supplies themselves.
The number of individuals who have volunteered at least once, as shown here, is staggering. And they're left with a lasting impact that almost always results in volunteering many more times. Come try it!
JoyJ measures its success in lives touched. Each encounter represents not just a bag filled with critical and often life-saving supplies, but a moment of spontaneous philanthropy that can last a lifetime.
A typical comfort bag includes $25 worth of critical items. As a result, our ability to make an impact is due in many ways to the generosity of the individual and institutional donors who contribute to JoyJ. Please consider donating today!
Volunteers from all ages, genders, and walks of life are making an impact in the world and in their own lives through the JoyJ Initiative.
JoyJ provides a wonderful opportunity for our family to volunteer together. It is a hands-on way to teach our children about the need to share with others, while making a positive impact on the community around us.
The Brush Family
JoyJ has allowed me the opportunity to commit a few hours each month to reach out to the community and help the homeless in a personal and direct manner. If I can’t give money, I’m glad I can give my time.
As we give out care packages, we also spend as much time as we can engaging in conversation, hearing their stories and telling them we care about them.
It’s a rewarding experience to give someone who is hungry and cold something to eat, socks and gloves to keep them warm. Most importantly, the human connection that is made is unsurpassed.
A refreshing take on volunteering that focuses on the human interaction aspect, leaves you feeling like you had an actual impact on someone’s day!
If you have the power to make someone happy or to help someone in even the slightest capacity, you should— both of your days will be better because of it.
JoyJ offers multiple ways to get involved, suitable for any type of individual or organization. Our mission relies on the collaboration of three groups of partners:
Volunteers – These are the people who interact directly with the homeless men and women that JoyJ reaches. Volunteers can play a role at any part in an Outreach, and are particularly needed on Outreach Day when they join Chapter Leads in distributing comfort bags to their community.
Chapter Leads – Chapter Leads are the people or organizations who provide a homebase for recurring Outreaches in their community. With logistical support from JoyJ Staff Members, they organize an initial Outreach at their location, whether that location is based out of a civic or faith-based institution, and then focus on growing their chapter over sequential Outreaches.
Donors – These partners provide the resources necessary for JoyJ to sustain existing chapters while growing new chapters elsewhere. Their contributions go directly toward the purchase of comfort bags and the items within, including snacks, water bottles, toiletries, fresh socks, warm clothing during winter months, and a host of other supplies that make the lives of homeless men and women more comfortable during difficult times.
In addition to hosting Corporate Outreaches and one-time outreaches, the JoyJ Initiative currently operates 12 permanent chapters – 7 in Manhattan, 1 in Atlanta, and 4 in Colombia – with many more expected as we continue to grow. Find your nearest location below to get started.
Neiva, ColombiaNeiva - Cl. 8 # 16-20, Huila, Colombia
Bogotá, ColombiaCra. 66 # 23a-42, Bogotá - Bogota, Colombia
Barranquilla, ColombiaCalle 63 # 31-94, Barranquilla - Atlantico, Colombia
Santa Marta, ColombiaSanta Marta - Calle 11 # 21-13, Magdalena, Colombia
St. Gregory The Great (c/o St. Vincent The Paul Society)144 W 90th St, New York, NY 10024, United States
Our Lady of Good Counsel230 E 90th St, New York, NY 10128, United States
Church of St. Thomas More65 E 89th St, New York, NY 10128, United States
St. Thomas More's Church65 East 89th Street, New York, NY, United States
Holy Innocents'128 W 37th St, New York, NY 10018, United States
Atlanta - Buckhead1001 Garden View Dr NE, Atlanta, GA 30319, United States
Church of Sacred Heart457 West 51st Street, New York, NY 10019, United States
St. Anthony of Padua154 Sullivan Street, New York, NY 10012, United States
Blessed Sacrament152 West 71st Street, New York, NY 10023, United States
JoyJ’s St. Anthony chapter set a new JoyJ record at its 8th outreach this weekend, distributing 250 bags in one outreach! The chapter’s core committee packed supplies into bags at 9am, more volunteers arrived at 10am to make 250 fresh sandwiches, abiding by NYC regulations, and the rest of the 80 volunteers arrived by 10:30am for a […]
The JoyJ Initiative held its first fundraising Happy Hour this month, on Manhattan’s East side. The atmosphere was electric as nearly 100 attendees showed up to meet fellow volunteers, socialize, and share their many JoyJ experiences. It may have been the free drink that Cornerstone Tavern gave to each attendee. It may have been the […]
We’re happy to announce a new partnership with Edelman, the world’s largest independently owned public relations firm! On June 25, twenty-nine Edelman volunteers from across the company were joined by four JoyJ Staff Members at Edelman’s New York City offices for a corporate outreach, distributing 100 bags before enjoying a rooftop happy hour. Edelman employees who volunteered were given […]
How are donations spent and can I sponsor a bag?
Nearly 100% of all donations received are spent entirely on direct Outreach expenses. The total cost of each bag is approximately $25. You may sponsor one bag for every $25 donated, including writing personal note(s) to be included in bags. Instructions are emailed with your donation receipt. Please donate using our secure form at the top of the page.
Can anyone volunteer?
Anyone over age 18 is welcome to volunteer. For those under 18, a parent or guardian must accompany each volunteer during an Outreach and during packing of bags. In these and all cases, JoyJ happily approves community service hours.
Are Outreaches safe?
The safety of our volunteers is our number one priority. When hitting the streets to distribute bags during an Outreach, we want our volunteers to realize that they need to be aware of their surroundings and of the individuals they will encounter while volunteering. The large majority of individuals you come in contact with are some of the most humble, friendly, and appreciative individuals on the planet. With that being said, JoyJ asks volunteers to exercise common sense and to remain in groups led by experienced team leaders.
How long do Outreaches last?
Outreaches are generally held on Saturdays, and last for one to three hours (the average Outreach lasts 1.5 hours from start to finish). The JoyJ Outreach model affords flexibility to volunteers. Volunteers can typically distribute anywhere from one to three comfort bags, and can therefore spend as little as thirty minutes of their day volunteering.
How often are Outreaches held?
Historically, each chapter has held an Outreach every other month. As we expand within our core cities, there will be an increasing number of opportunities to volunteer.
The JoyJ Initiative was incorporated in 2014. It was founded on the vision that the Golden Rule is a fundamental law of the human condition, one that transcends age, gender, religion, and culture. JoyJ aims to infuse this concept back into modern society. We do this by offering “spontaneous philanthropy” programs where groups and individuals provide food and necessities to the homeless population in their communities through direct outreach.
In addition to the Chapter Leads who manage each permanent chapter, JoyJ’s highly talented and passionate team of leaders is constantly working to improve our organization while reaching more people.
Senior Advisory Board
Board of Directors
Michele Marotta, Chairman; Brian Kelly, President; Louise Ulman, Vice President; Brian Ender, Treasurer; Brian Sikel, Secretary; Perry Britz, Director; Fr. Alexis Bastidas, Director.
Bianca Tamagnini; Natalie Hill; Christian Clark; Leila Araiche; Anyily Gasca; Gabrielle Smith; Camila Torrente; Nick Loury; Andrew Birnbaum; Evan Burke; Annemarie Deslauriers; Dan Parodi; William Donnelly; Jessica Weldon; Nancy Exume.