Every child enrolled in the My Joyful Heart program is disadvantaged in one way or another: some are in special education, some have families that cannot afford life's necessities, many are from single-parent or grandparent-led households and some are homeless.
The schools we work with are generally located in impoverished areas with a high percentage of low income and working poor families. Either teachers and/or social workers through the schools will contact My Joyful Heart to ask for assistance for specific children or My Joyful Heart will reach out to discuss implementing our program within a school.
Children of My Joyful Heart and their families are not able to enroll themselves, instead a principal, teacher or social worker enrolls children who are selected through observation or family assessment. We work hard to make sure the children enrolled receive the gift packages we send; the school must agree to pick up the gift bags from our facility, distribute the gifts to the child at school and assist in writing thank you notes.
Once the children have been selected and the school agrees to assist us in distributing the gift packages, an enrollment form is completed by the child’s caregiver or teacher indicating sizes, favorite color, immediate needs, birthday, wish list and family situation (such as, if the child is in a single parent home, living with a relative or in a shelter).
The children enrolled in the My Joyful Heart program generally range in age from infant to 13 years old. We also serve a few special groups of children and young adults through occupational or therapeutic centers. We have made an allowance for these special groups because most of these children are homeless.
By the numbers
As of January 2013, we currently have 550 children enrolled in our program. Of those 550, only 120 have sponsors. This means 80% of the children enrolled are not able to receive subsidized items at each Gift Event. The difference between what sponsored and My Joyful Heart children receive is explained in our See How It Works section. You can change this statistic by Sponsoring A Child of your own and Bring Hope to the children of our community.
To learn how each child is assisted through our program, please read more information on Who We Help for detailed information on the children once they are enrolled in the program.