YOUNG NONPROFIT RAISES OVER 9K AT FIRST ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION
RALEIGH, N.C. — Designed for Joy’s doors have only been open for a little over a year, but their first anniversary celebration on October 23rd saw 70 guests in attendance and over $9,000 in contributions. This young nonprofit is making real changes in the lives of local women by supplying living wage artisan jobs for those coming out of emergency situations, food and housing insecurity, rehab or jail. Guests heard from many inspirational speakers including co-hosts of Red X Podcast, Lance Olive, Mayor of Apex, and Nicole Bernard, Director of Shield North Carolina, but what left the room speechless was the story of one former artisan, now turned donor, Lauren Reid.
After a devastating diagnosis of multiple sclerosis, Reid had to quit her job. She struggled to complete simple day to day tasks, and provide for her family as a single mother. Reid shared about her fight to cope with the disease, first by losing 130lbs and then completely reexamining her diet and lifestyle. She worked to live with MS, and decided she was ready to reenter the job market but felt lost with nowhere to start and a no confidence in her abilities.
“There were days that I felt utterly hopeless. Everything that was so easy had now become a huge hurdle that I never thought I would be able to get over. I didn’t have confidence in my ability in the workplace anymore,” Reid said. She added, “Growing up, I never really knew that I could actually get and a do a job that I truly loved. Being black, and a woman I was taught without being taught that you get whatever job you can, and keep it for as long as you can, because those opportunities just don’t come around too often.”
Designed For Joy was Reid’s stepping stone of hope, compassion and confidence to get back on her feet. She now has a full-time job and even gives back to DFJ with her time and treasure whenever possible. Reid ended her story in a call-to-action for guests to help continue DFJ’s commitment to serving women in need.
“Designed for Joy is making an impact and that impact is felt right here in our local community. There are so many women in need in our own backyards that are overlooked and unemployed, or seen as not needy enough. I challenge you to ask yourself the question, what is needy supposed to look like?” Reid said.
By serving women like Reid and partnering with outside organizations, including a new connection with the Salvation Army’s Project Fight to support trafficking rescue efforts, DFJ has high hopes for growth and impact looking forward into their second year and beyond.
Contact: Cary Heis