In 2022, more than 10,000 children in the United States will be diagnosed with cancer. Many faces a challenging battle ahead, but they do not need to fight it alone. Standing beside their friends and families, there are supportive communities hoping to bring a smile to their face, make their days a little lighter, and motivate them to never ever give up. At Smart Circle, we are honored to be a part of such a loving, encouraging, and inspiring foundation: the Jessie Rees Foundation (NEGU).
Every year, we set up and participate in initiatives to spread joy to kids battling cancer. During this holiday season, we participated in a Joy-Jar event. Our team members spent the morning creating and stuffing jars going to childhood cancer patients in the hospital. Our biggest hope is that we bring a smile to every child who receives and opens their jar.
What is the Jessie Rees Foundation (NEGU)?
The Jessie Rees Foundation (NEGU) honors Jessica (Jessie) Joy Rees, a young child who fought inoperable cancer from 2011 to 2012. During her time in the Children’s Hospital in Orange County, California, she wondered how to help the children around her. She wanted to bring happiness and optimism into their lives.
Jessie began to create Joy-Jars, filled with toys, games, bracelets, and a card. Each jar is a symbol of hope, joy, and love. They are also a source of motivation for children to “never ever give up.”
When Jessie passed away in January 2012, she left behind a legacy that remains today: The Jessie Rees Foundation (NEGU). They maintain a network of Compassionate Companies, teams, and volunteers who work together to raise donations, set up fundraisers and drives, or create Joy Jars and Cards. Additionally, they offer support, resources, and financial assistance to families of children fighting cancer.
NEGU has sent over 400,000 Joy Jars to children worldwide and raised more than $29 million to help them and their families. Our Smart Circle team is proud to support this cause and mission. We host, sponsor, and participate in NEGU events regularly, notably the Mobile Joy-Factory and Joy-Jar Event.
Spreading Joy One Jar at a Time
Jessie Rees’ story has a phenomenal impact on anyone who hears it. Smart Circle is continuously touched by her selflessness, empathy, and generosity whenever we revisit her famous words, “Never Ever Give Up!”
Our team follows in her footsteps, spreading hope and sharing joy with children in the hospital. We hosted the Mobile Joy-Factory this year, putting together 300 beautiful Joy-Jars. We spent every minute envisioning how they would open their magical jars, forget about their struggles, and play with their toys for a few minutes.
We also understand the responsibilities of giving gifts to children in a hospital setting and those with vulnerable systems. We took special care to ensure every Joy Jar met the exact specifications. In this way, we made sure every child will delight in simply seeing their jar but will also be able to enjoy its contents thoroughly.
Julia Smart, the NEGU Director of Corporate Relations and Development, reflects on our involvement this year and for the past few years. She expresses,
“Since 2017, Smart Circle has donated over $63,000 to the Jessie Rees Foundation. On behalf of the Jessie Rees Foundation, thank you for not only your monetary support, but for your selfless volunteerism.”
Yet, we would like to say that the pleasure is all ours. Thank you to Jessie Rees and NEGU for opening our hearts, inspiring us every year, and helping us make a difference in children’s lives.
Find out more about the NEGU organization and how you can help children fighting cancer. Every smile counts!