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 aid and comfort to those experiencing homelessness as well as other communities undergoing hardship. The JoyJ Initiative is an entirely volunteer-run organization, and 100% of funds donated are used to purchase essential items and cover other expenses directly related to our programs.
JoyJ provides essential support to local populations in need 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.
Volunteering at a homeless outreach is an amazing way day to start a day. By engaging in a moment of spontaneous philanthropy, you infuse a small amount of humanity back into an increasingly dehumanized world. Learning about the life of a homeless person, who may live just a few blocks from you, yet lives worlds away from your own, is a powerful experience. Finally, volunteering at a JoyJ outreach is a social experience that only takes a couple hours from beginning to end!
Hosting an outreach is easy. No matter where you live, we will help you every step of the way, from rallying your community, to buying supplies, to planning the outreach day, to developing an orientation, all the way to the end.
New volunteers find this experience very rewarding. Every single outreach makes the world a better place by increasing awareness of the homelessness crisis, providing volunteers with an opportunity to rediscover humanity in an increasingly dehumanized world, and improving the lives of the homeless, even if only for a day. Contact us to get your first outreach organized!
If you are a corporation interested in hosting a corporate outreach, then all of the above benefits apply in addition to a uniquely impactful team building experience! Reach out to learn more at email@example.com. We have hosted corporate outreaches with Credit Suisse, Deloitte, Edelman, and more. We would love to host one with you!
We are a volunteer-based organization and nearly 100% of donations to JoyJ go directly toward the purchase of critical supplies like water bottles, fresh socks, seasonal clothing, deodorant and other toiletries, snacks, and a host of other items. These supplies always improve the recipient’s day, and have even saved lives and limbs, like when we distributed earmuffs and gloves before sub-zero winter nights to homeless people who couldn’t get into shelters.
While many charities spend donations on corporate salaries and perks, our donors and partners provide resources that exclusively sustain existing chapters while growing new chapters elsewhere. Become a part of our movement through a tax-deductible donation today. Every $25 donated allows you to sponsor a bag with a personal note to the recipient.
In addition to hosting one-time outreaches and programs with corporate partners, the JoyJ Initiative currently operates in many permanent chapters throughout the world – in the USA in New York, California, New Jersey, Georgia, Missouri, and internationally in Costa Rica, Colombia, Ecuador, Haiti, Puerto Rico, The Philippines, the United Kingdom, and Italy – with many more expected as we continue to grow. Please ask us how to connect with JoyJ volunteers in your country by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also check the upcoming events at your nearest location below to get started!
Cuasi Parroquia - Madre del Buen PastorCuenca, Ecuador
St. Joseph's School-Yorkville420 E 87th St, NY, New York 10128, USA
Dominican Academy44 East 68th Street, NY, New York 10065, USA
Church of The Good Shepard4967 Broadway, NY, New York 10034, USA
JoyJ LondonCheyne Walk, London, United Kingdom
St. Paul the Apostle (c/o St. Vincent de Paul Society)405 West 59th Street, New York, NY, United States
JoyJ RomeVia Primo Acciaresi, 9, Rome, Metropolitan City of Rome, Italy
St. Luke's Church623 E 138th St, Bronx, NY, United States
American Civic Association131 Front Street, Binghamton, NY, United States
St. Patrick Center800 N Tucker Blvd, St. Louis, MO, United States
Parroquia Santo Cristo Senor De Los MilagrosSanta Marta - Cl. 29h 3 # 21-6, Magdalena, Colombia
Iglesia de Nuestra Senora de Las AguasCarrera 2a # 18a-68, Las Aguas, Bogotá - Bogota, Colombia
JoyJ EcuadorLuis Salazar Bravo, Gualaceo, Ecuador
St. Peters YouthGroup445 5th Ave, River Edge, NJ, United States
Holy Name of Jesus (c/o St. Vincent de Paul Society)207 West 96th Street, New York, NY, United States
Salamina, ColombiaSalamina - Carrera 5, Magdalena, Colombia
Baptist Church PalanginanIba, Zambales, Iba, Philippines
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 de 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
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 fundamental to the human condition, transcending age, gender, religion, and culture. JoyJ aims to infuse this concept into contemporary 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.
Board of Directors
Leila Araiche; Andrew Birnbaum; Davina Faust; Brian Kelly; Nick Loury; Michele Marotta; Louise Ulman.
Rukshana Ahmed; Perry Britz; Brian Ender; Joyce Frost; Robert Hammond; Michael Hogan; Marie LaMarr; Helena Maria Lim; Dario Puccini; Brian Sikel; Nathalie Wilson.