Christmas JOY 2023
Every year we get an honor to serve a number of families for Christmas JOY! Christmas JOY is exactly as it sounds – an opportunity at Christmas to deliver JOY to children who have recently suffered the loss of a parent. This is fulfilled through each child’s Christmas wish list which allows YOU, our community, to get to work! Our mission is to deliver JOY and we take it very seriously. These gifts arrive at the front door of the child’s home. The surviving parent/ caregiver will wrap the gifts and place them under the tree for our most deserving kiddos. As part of our mission, we strive to provide support for the child and the surviving parent/ caregiver. Christmas JOY is one of the biggest ways we can give that support during the difficult holiday season.
So how do you get involved? It’s easy!
- Read about our Christmas JOY kids here
- Click on their lists to shop! (The only thing we ask is that you shop for one family at a time so you can ship their gifts directly to them.
- When you check out you will have the option to ship to the registry address).
No time to shop? Donate here and we will take care of it for you!
The Johnson Family (TN), The Seal Family (ME), Bryanna and Brantley (GA), The Prince Family (MA), The Eboch Family (VA), The Strout Family (ME), The Bautista Family (GA), the Cunningham Family (MA), Asher (GA), Lawson (AL), and Sandra (ME).
The Johnson Family from Tennessee
In May of 2021, Presley (age 11) and River’s (age 8) mom passed away from cancer. It was unexpected as they thought her cancer was responding to chemo. She fought the cancer for over a year and had a trach, so couldn’t speak to the kids for about 9 months prior to her death. When she was healthy, Presley and River enjoyed road trips to the beach with their mom singing in the car at the top of their lungs. Once she got sick, they also loved stay-cations when the beach didn’t make sense – they were happy as long as they were all together and able to swim! Both Presley and River find their JOY on the ball field and look forward to returning every weekend to do what they love the most!
The Seal Family from Maine
Jayson, Sephine, Jarrod and Jaxton lost their father, Joshua, in the bowling alley shooting tragedy in Maine. Along with many others in the local deaf community, he had gathered to play in a cornhole tournament. Jayson finds joy, like his father did in sports (Boston in particular!). Sephine is the typical “daddy’s girl,” adored by her father and lover of all things “girly.” She finds joy in soccer, stuffed animals and all fashion accessories. Jarrod finds joy in anything with wheels – toy cars, hot wheel sets, toy garages for cars, you name it! Jaxton is the family artist and finds JOY in art. Currently his favorite canvas is the walls of the family home which mom is actively trying to course correct : )
Joshua was an American Sign Language interpreter who had gained respect and popularity for his work interpreting for the governor of Maine during the COVID pandemic. Professionally, he helped deaf children connect with and attend a summer camp with other deaf children to connect them to peers with this shared attribute. His work during his life to bring these children together and help them feel seen and connected echoes the mission of The Joy Mission. Where he brought joy to so many during his life, let us seek to return the JOY to his family in their time of grief.
The Bryanna and Brantley from Georgia
Bryanna (age 8) and Brantley’s (age 4) dad died February 2023 after a few years battling drug addiction. Bryanna and Brantley live with their grandparents now, who are active advocates for drug and mental health awareness. Bryanna is a bubbly little 8 year old who loves Barbies and American Girls. Brantley finds joy digging for Dinosaurs, yet worms and bugs will do too! These two have experienced disappointment and heartbreak throughout their short little lives so let’s rally together to deliver JOY this year!
The Prince Family from Massachusetts
Connor (13), Declan (10) and Fiona’s (7) father, Kevin, died of cancer in May 2023. Kevin was passionate about New England sports teams, cars, fine arts and was the home IT person. He shared his passions with his children and by all accounts, shared laughter and joy with each of them. He was best friends with his oldest son and passed on his IT tricks of the trade to him and he now runs this part of the house. Kevin would undoubtedly be touched to see Declan’s new found love for the New England Revolution soccer team. They shared a Christmas tradition of watching all of the Harry Potter movies every year. His creative side shines in his daughter Fiona who is artistic and full of charisma. Together, we can shine some light for this family this Christmas.
The Eboch Family from Virginia
Liam (age 11) and Carter’s (age 8) dad, Ryan died unexpectedly on the first day of the boys’ summer break of 2021. He is buried at Arlington Cemetery because he was a Navy veteran who served proudly. Almost 2 years later, their half sister, Emmaline’s (Emma; age 3) father, Will, took his life on a bitterly cold day in March. His lifelong struggle with depression, anxiety, and substance abuse, due to childhood trauma, took its final toll on him. Emma had a special bond with her dad, she was his princess from the day she was born, and he always embraced being a father figure to the boys after Ryan died. The boys find joy in video games, riding their bikes/ scooters, swimming and in music. Emma tries to keep up with her brothers and loves to play. This family has experienced a lot of loss and heartbreak and we look forward to delivering JOY this Christmas.
The Strout Family from Maine
Logan (17), Brianna (14), Summer (18) and their older siblings lost their father/step-father, Arthur Strout, in the horrible shooting tragedy in Lewiston, Maine just a few weeks ago. He was killed playing pool with his father, a hobby he was just starting to pass on to Logan, who adored and looked up to him. They did everything together. Summer and Brianna both find joy in their artistic projects and crafts. Brianna enjoyed special bonding time with her dad in going for long drives alone together. She cherishes the memory of having had one of those just days before the tragedy struck. This family has endured such tragic loss so recently, we hope that Christmas JOY will help them pick up the pieces and spark some joy for them this holiday season.
The Bautista Family from Georgia
Isai, Natán, Josiah and Eliezer lost their dad unexpectedly in May 2022. These boys, uniquely named after men in the Bible and perfectly spaced out with 2 years between each of them deserve some JOY this year! Isai (age 14), the oldest, finds JOY playing percussion in the marching band and playing piano. Next, Natán (age 12) has a servant heart and finds JOY connecting with people, friends, and family. And he loves to find new things to cook. Then Josiah (age 10) finds JOY playing baseball, guitar, pokemon, and being with his friends. And then there is the sweet little brother, Eliezer (Age 8) who loves legos, squishies, lizards! Let’s provide for these boys this year and bring some JOY (gives mom a break too).
The Cunningham Family from Massachusetts
L.B. (11), Mackenzie (9) & Benny (4) lost their father unexpectedly this year as the school year came to a close. Registration for Mackenzie’s competitive cheer program was underway. You may recall The Joy Mission stepped in to take care of the cost of this program for the year for her so she could continue to find joy through cheer. By all accounts, their father Brian was an energetic, devoted father who dedicated his life to his kids. He shared a passion for hockey with both of his boys (Benny just started to play this year!) and even coached hockey for L.B. Many who knew him through coaching other town sports speak of how loved he was so loved by all the children. Despite their grief and hurt, these kids look forward to Christmas, so let’s make sure they feel the love from all around the world.
Asher from Georgia
Asher (age 10) is a 4th grader who’s mom died unexpectedly in July 2023. Asher already lived with his grandparents but he and his mom shared a special bond. He was her greatest hope. Asher finds great joy playing video games, but he also crushed it on the swim team this summer! Asher’s grandmother says “Christmas JOY is a sweet blessing from God to minister to our precious, broken hearted grandson.” Asher deserves a special Christmas and I feel honored that, together, we can give it to him.
Lawson from Alabama
Sweet Lawson’s (9) dad, Mark died unexpectedly at the end of October of this year. The grief and heartache is very fresh. Lawson is a fun loving nine year old who lives for making people laugh and being a big brother. He loved riding dirt bikes, camping and playing baseball with his dad. Let’s meet Lawson right where he is this Christmas and create some JOY!
Sandra from Maine
Sandra (2), lost her father in the horrible shooting tragedy in Lewiston, Maine just a few weeks ago. Her father, Bill, was at a regular gathering of deaf and hard of hearing individuals that were playing corn hole when he was killed. Sandra, who is also deaf, find joy in swimming, arts & crafts and like most young children these days – Bluey. During the summer, she can spend countless hours in the water and is already taking regular swimming lessons. Like all of the victims of this tragedy, the surviving parents are agonized with anxiety about being in public, making shopping and other every day holiday activities impossible this year. Help us take the burden of providing a joyful Christmas off of their list this year.
The Joy Mission is a trusted 501(c)3 non profit giving joy to kids who have suffered the death of a parent. To learn more visit our website and to donate to the mission visit http://www.thejoymission.com/give-now/.