Project Joy started with a phone call to a nearby seniors home to see what my children and I could do to help during the Covid-19 crisis. I could only imagine how isolated and alone these seniors must be feeling. When I connected with the recreational therapist she made me aware that the residents were not allowed visitors. Not even their own families. Normally they would fundraise to acquire devices to help to encourage and facilitate family connection. I went away wondering how could I help.
It made me think that we had a couple old devices at home that we could donate and that others might want to contribute as well. I put out a request on social media and was very amazed and thrilled at the support from the community. I was able to collect and get 11 wiped devices to this facility. They were extremely excited and thankful. I then thought there might be other facilities in need and probably many unused devices sitting in drawers!
And so the project began. Joy is my Granny’s name. She passed away 7 years ago after spending her last years in long term care. I was very close to her and can’t imagine how it would be to not be able to see her at such a scary time. This project is in her memory.
We have been so fortunate to have RJ Systems help us going forward with the tech side of things. I was able to send out the word and get the phones and tablets and could get them to the facility but could not help to set the devices up. This local company have been extremely generous with giving their time and talents.
I hope you will take a minute to see if you may have anything you can contribute to the project. Phones, tablets, your time or expertise. Let’s bring joy to as many as we can.
MEET THE TEAM
I love travelling and trying new things! Before I was able to stay home with my 3 amazing kiddos, I worked in paediatric cardiology as a technologist. My favourite things are family, the ocean, the mountains and camping. I have a passion for both children and seniors and started Project Joy in memory of my very special grandma, Joy.
I am the co-owner and a managing partner for RJ SYSTEMS LTD, an Edmonton Based Technology Solutions Company.
RJ SYSTEMS is a founding partner of Project Joy and the technical arm of the society. Responsible for “donation to deployment”, the team at RJ SYSTEMS, under the direction of Jay-Dee, works to ensure donated devices meet minimum requirements for functionality and privacy prior to provisioning them for the recipient care centres.
I was drawn to supporting Project Joy as it is so important for us to stay socially connected with our loved ones even while being physically distant. I have been a lifelong volunteer with various community organizations in Edmonton, including serving on various boards and my day job is as an Assistant Registrar at the University of Alberta Registrar's Office. I look forward to using those volunteer and professional skills to help Project Joy grow its community connections.
As the Managing Director of CSB Creative Business Solutions, providing virtual accounting services to small and medium-sized Canadian businesses, including Not for Profits, volunteering for Project Joy is an opportunity for us to give back to our community.
In Calgary, I volunteered with many organizations utilizing my accounting background and finance skills. My position provided a solid financial foundation for these organizations so they could focus on the real reason they existed – to help others. Since moving to Edmonton, volunteering was something that I missed in my life. I wanted to find a way to give back again, and I can do this through Project Joy.
Sound financials are vital to the success of every organization, but critical for volunteer organizations so that they can focus on the real reason for their existence. Staying connected is essential to us as humans. Project Joy wants to make this happen in our community, and I am there to make sure they focus on their goals, not their finances.
Southern Alberta Director
I am a born and raised Albertan with a passion for Social Justice and making a difference in our community.
I am the Manager of Philanthropy at CARE Canada– An International Development Charity that focuses on empowering women and girls in the developing world. I have worked in fund development in the charitable sector for the last 15 years – with homeless organizations, disabilities, healthcare and International Development.
I am an active volunteer in our community, and when not working or volunteering, I love to travel and spend time in the mountains with my 10-year old Westie Dog Snoopy.
I became involved in Project Joy through Emily Jenks – who I first met in childhood, as our moms were close friends. We also volunteered together for the Autism-Asperger’s-Friendship-Society Gala in fundraising and community engagement.
I live a block away from the McKenzie Towne Seniors Centre in Calgary, the hardest COVID-19 hit centre in Alberta – and taking part in the “you are not alone” drive-by’s every day at 3 pm and seeing the faces of the isolated seniors makes me proud and excited to be part of Project Joy.
I met Emily, the founder of Project Joy, at tap class as we pounded out the beats of Footloose. It really is the 6 degrees of Kevin Bacon, right? Needless to say, I was happy to help out with Project Joy! Volunteering in our community and beyond is something I value greatly. In my free time, which I have a lot of these days, I enjoy gardening, building, biking, sports and poring over books. I live on an acreage with 3 fantastic kids, a pretty good husband and a not so bad dog.