Creating Young Advocates of Change One JOI Box at a Time
The start of 2013 has been a great one for me. Usually with the planning of new resolutions and new goals to achieve, I often feel overwhelmed with everything that needs to be accomplished. I’m glad to say that this year felt a little different, and if you have felt this before you are probably wondering what the secret is. New Year’s usually begins with a forward looking outlook with a list of items that need to be accomplished, whether its weight loss, or learning how to play that new guitar you received on Christmas. This time around, I was able to sit back and really look back at the year that passed and think of the accomplishments I have been involved in, the most impactful to my life being the JOI to the World campaign.
As the new year rolled in, so did my mail and amongst the bills and brochures I received were many heart warming Thank You letters from the organizations in the city that were gifted JOI boxes during the holiday season. With the support from the citizens of Calgary, JOI Media is able to give back to those less fortunate every year through our JOI to the World campaign. The initiative looks at providing relief for those facing homelessness, poverty and family abuse through the delivery of gift boxes that have been filled by the local community.
In the past five years, through donors, volunteers and sponsors within the community, JOI to the World has been able to gift nearly 15,000 JOI boxes to Calgarians' in need. Through the use of crowd funding and social media JOI to the World has raised almost $25,000 online through www.katipult.com totaling approximately $500,000 in both physical and monetary donations.
Although giving back to the community was the main motive behind the campaign, at JOI Media we really wanted to influence the youth and create awareness of the issues of homelessness, poverty and family abuse in the city. This year, we had many elementary, junior high and high schools join our initiative. The youth are the future and it is incredible to see how many young individuals contribute to the cause with not only donations, but also their time.
In the midst of all the Thank You letters we received, I found this video mailed to me from the Bridlewood School, for their take on JOI to the World.
This video really confirms the belief that our movement has truly created young advocates who also see and understand the importance of giving back to the community. The statements that stood out to me the most from the video “we knew this was an opportunity to make a difference”, “as the boxes started coming back filled, we started to think about how one box could affect one’s quality of life”, “We are the change”, and “Together we made a difference in our community” really emphasize the fact that our campaign has not only affected the lives of those individuals being gifted boxes, but is also sparking the social activists in each one of these children to truly be the change in the city.