Do want to BE the positive in the world?! Here in Uganda we are passionate about extracting beauty from ashes, redemption from heartache, and light from darkness. Whether you’re able to give $10 or $10,000, every penny counts. The sky’s the limit and we invite you to join us in growing something beautiful!
The Joy Collective is a humanitarian, faith-based organization focused on improving the lives of widows and vulnerable children in Uganda through education and empowerment.
The Joy Collective focuses on empowering widows and the communities they live in toward sustainable, organic farming, creating income, food security, as well as health and education opportunities for some of the world’s poorest families. Our goal is to move from impoverishment to improvement in REAL and significant ways. When working with those in need, we believe in the importance of education, encouragement and continued support. Creating lasting change is at the root of every endeavor we dedicate ourselves to. We have sisters who are ready to join hands. Please consider partnering with us!
Children’s Mentorship Program:
The Joy Collective believes in the strength and power of change that our younger generations possess and, because of this, we are full-heartedly investing in the lives of vulnerable children through our mentorship program. Through this initiative, we empower families to keep their children in school with a goal that, by the time our Joy Collective kids successfully graduate from secondary education, they will have University Scholarship Funds awaiting them! We value education as a way of creating improved realities for those in deepest need. For most children living in the mountains of rural Uganda, this is a nearly impossible dream. However, WE BELIEVE IN DREAMS and, because of this, we strive to help make the impossible, POSSIBLE! It’s not just about shuffling a child from Point A to Point B, but also preparing them for the utmost success along the way. For these children: the sky’s the limit and we want YOU to be a part of their future!
Animal Rescue Efforts:
You probably know the old saying: “Wherever you go, there you are.” After a successful decade of full-time pet portrait artistry, I made the big leap and packed up both my studio and my business and moved to Africa to become the full-time director of The Joy Collective. Living in the midst of tremendous impoverishment and in a culture which does not always value or care for their canine counterparts, I found myself doing what I’ve always done: LOVING DOGS!
Although The Joy Collective is primarily a humanitarian-focused organization, we are also passionate about the animals that surround our work. There are currently no other animal rescue organizations in Eastern Uganda and very few in the entire country. And so? We’re it! The Joy Collective has teamed up with local veterinarians to heal, feed, re-home, educate, vaccinate, spay and neuter canines throughout our surrounding communities. For a growing number of stray dogs and their communities, a difference is being made!
My Story and Inspiration:
My name is Jessie Marianiello. I am the founder and director of The Joy Collective. I am an artist, fine art photographer, writer and philanthropist. I always will be, but a couple of years ago I found myself in the nitty-gritty process of wrapping up the successes of my old life in exchange for the most meaningful lifelong venture I’ve ever stepped into.
In August of 2015 I traveled to Uganda after the recent loss of my fiancé, Carl. He was only 35. We had our whole lives ahead of us, but in a split second, everything as I once knew it was shattered. The day that Carl died is the day that I gave my life to God. Raw. Vulnerable. Curious. Believing. I was still in a state of deep grief, but for the first time since his death, I found myself finding happiness once again in the mountains of eastern Africa. It was during those travels that a part of my soul found its way home. I originally went as part of a small mission team, but stayed on after everyone else left. That was when I met Anna, a recent widow whose home was tucked into a nearby fold of the mountain. The loss of Anna’s husband was tragic and unexpected. She suffered an emotional breakdown and, in her distress, was unable to take care for her family, a predicament that, in Africa, can mean the difference between life and death.
The small mountain village I had been staying in knew of my loss and asked if I would be willing to go to her home and sit with her. They hoped my presence would encourage her. Little did either of us know how much that simple meeting would change both of our lives. My meeting with Anna only lasted about an hour. She didn’t speak English, but somehow, we managed to communicate everything that needed to be said. Our connection happened not through words, but our eyes and hearts. We had both been through so much.
Nothing special happened during that first meeting, but as I look back, I see how that was the moment that everything changed. Later that day I sat talking with one of the villagers about a small group of women who had come together to form, what they called, the Buirimbi Women’s Burial Group. It was a savings group created so that new widows could take out a low-interest rate loan to pay for the burial of their husbands. It was in that moment that I received what I can only describe as my assignment from God. With a confidence not my own, I knew with my whole being that I could do something to help women like Anna. I had experienced my own dark days. I understood the fear, anxiety and trauma of such deep grief. I felt God place this task in my hand and ask me if I would do this. Without hesitation, my response was a full-hearted YES.
A week later, while on a long flight back home to the United States, The Joy Collective was born. Work began immediately and, in just a few short months, we had a strong program up and running! I returned to Uganda only to be STUNNED by the dedication and hard work the women and community have brought to the project. I have since moved to Uganda indefinitely. Only God knows where He is taking us, but with every fiber of my being, I feel it is GOOD!
What Your Donation Helps Pay For:
· Demonstration Gardens for sustainable food production and learning space.
· Medical assistance and supplies for The Joy Collective community.
· Fair wages for African team members and educators + training.
· Visa fees and costs of living.
· Feeding Program costs.
· Animal rescue efforts: feeding, spay and neuter efforts, vaccinations, and veterinarian costs.
· The Joy Collective Learning and Retreat Center, upkeep and land rental fund.
· Widow’s Program: Project costs and materials.
· Mentorship Program: Project costs, Educational Sponsorships and Scholarships, The Joy Collective School of Music, materials and experiential learning opportunities.
Prefer to give on a monthly basis?
You decide the amount that fits your budget ($10, $20,$35, $50, $100, $250, $500 or $1,000) per month. It's quick and easy!
Your secure reoccurring monthly payments can be made via Moonclerk here:
Would you like your donation to be tax deductible?
If you would like your donation to The Joy Collective to be TAX DEDUCTIBLE, please make checks out to CALVARY CHAPEL. A note mentioning that it is to go towards The Joy Collective fund MUST be included with your check. Once your donation is received, 100% of your contribution will be added to the GoFundMe total so that we can celebrate your generosity!
Calvary Chapel Bemidji
500 Irvine Ave NW
Bemidji, MN 56601
OR make an online tax-deductible donation via Calvary Chapel here: https://www.easytithe.com/f/f2.asp?formid=64ccf8bf-cb98-4f4f-a144-2df26f138966&fbclid=IwAR3JZ4vlQzLy3dj-8WPu0kCCJgH-K8qL-Z3s63L42Ykg6mq90KgxmkGVl80
(All donations made to Calvary Chapel Bemidji become property of Calvary Chapel Bemidji. However, 100% of the donation is then donated to The Joy Collective. Thank you, Calvary Chapel, for so generously helping to support The Joy Collective and those we serve in such a tangible way!)
Gratitude the size of an entire mountain:
There are not words deep or wide enough to express the gratitude felt by both myself and those whom this fund will help to create brighter, more joy-filled futures. Your contribution is a prayer answered to countless widows and vulnerable children. The need is great...and so is the optimism for what is possible!
BE A PART OF THE MOVEMENT!