IMG_6900 2“You are going to be able to help me right?”  ThoseIMG_6931 were the words that were whispering through the tears as she hugged my neck as hard as she could. This angel had walked through a journey no 8 year old should walk through. Losing a parent, others in the family suffering with illness, she felt lost. We were called to come and visit and deliver a care package. What an honor it was to spend time with this precious family. There are no adjectives for some of these visits. As I say often, “there is not a shelf to put the grief”. My prayer often as I have said over my own life on those days when pain comes from nowhere is “Lord, be that shelf.” He never fails.

It’s my daily prayer to be able to help in greater ways. Life altering illness and those with special needs affects the entire family. When one member of the family is ill, the entire family is affected. There are so many practical needs that go unattended. And sometimes the smallest things make the biggest difference to a heart.

IMG_2008resSometimes those little things are felt the most in nursing homes and hospice centers we visit.

His eyes filled with tears as we handed over a special Mavis dog made just for this elderly gentleman in a nursing facility. I will never forget his words. “I matter! You came to see me? I guess I still have a purpose in this old life of mine!” In an instant there was JOY, LIFE, such excitement! We chatted for about 15 minutes. He held onto that Mavis dog as tight as he could. He said he missed his dog so much, that was one of the hardest things to give up…his precious canine companion…and this just helped make it better.

As we left, he grabbed my hand and said “thank you…..for not only listening to my stories, but for wanting to hear what I had to say.” I wiped tears as I walked down that hallway. Just 15 minutes. He said his life was impacted in indescribable ways but what he didn’t realize was so was mine. He touched my heart deeply.IMG_8976

Many of our volunteers who visit patients come back saying how these visits bring back their purpose in life. They find their gifts and talents and see how they encouraged others in need! It is life changing for all involved. It goes full circle! It’s a win-win journey and is why Joy In The Cause was even created! And it is what inspired the “Purpose Project” to be born. We are so excited about this project.

In a nutshell groups of students, volunteers and organizations will adopt a nursing facility or hospice center. They will make visits, some may sponsor Mavis dogs for each patient, and bring joy to these residents. These volunteers have so many gifts and talents, and what better way to use them than by sharing with the residents!

Our donors and sponsors make these moments happen. And we love showing where the support is going. Many have asked if there is a way they can help monthly. We have set up our donation button at the top of the home page to accept monthly donations.

We are so touched by the generosity of our supporters and sponsors. The need is great, and the support you give so greatly needed to accomplish the task at hand. To date over 30,000 Mavis Pearl dogs have left our front door in the past 3 years. Each dressed by hand and sent out with a prayer and a blessing. Hundreds of care packages have followed. This would not be possible if not for our donors. From the bottom of our hearts…thank you.

We are grateful beyond words to the community. You are the reason JOY is spreading and we can’t wait to see what 2017 holds. IMG_9673thank you 2