The Virginian-Pilot Joy Fund

THE VIRGINIAN-PILOT JOY FUND - Celebrating decades of delivering joy with toys

The Virginian-Pilot Joy Fund

A new toy is such a small thing, unless you've never had one. Last year The Joy Fund bought toys for over 10,000 children.

The Virginian-Pilot Joy Fund is a non-profit organization that raises monetary donations from the community to purchase new toys for local children who may not receive a single toy during the holiday season.

In partnership with The Salvation Army, local families in need are identified and invited to personally select toys for their children so that no child in the Hampton Roads area goes without a gift.

All administrative expenses are paid for by The Virginian-Pilot -- every penny donated to The Joy Fund purchases toys for the children.

The Joy Fund Is Born

Kathryn and Thomas HanesFollowing an encounter with a new mother and her hungry children in Ocean View, Thomas Hanes, The Ledger-Star managing editor, and his wife Kathryn felt compelled to carry food to the woman and her family. Word spread of the mother in distress and of other families trying to cope during The Great Depression.

People in the community began donating food, toys, clothing and cash. All day Christmas Eve, volunteers loaded their cars and delivered baskets into the wee hours of Christmas Day. The newspaper covered all the expenses so that every penny benefited the families, as it still does today. And thus, The Joy Fund was born.

Donations are accepted year round and are tax deductible.

The Joyfund donate button

Donate online at or call (757) 446-9000.

or MAIL donations to:

The Joy Fund
PO Box 2136
Norfolk, VA 23501

or DROP OFF at The Virginian-Pilot offices:

  • 150 W. Brambleton Ave., Norfolk

  • 157 N. Main St., Suite B, Suffolk

  • 5429 Greenwich Rd., Virginia Beach

Make checks payable to The Joy Fund.


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Joy Fund Events

How Can You Help The Joy Fund?
Your participation is greatly needed! Please attend, volunteer and support these opportunities for The Joy Fund:
Please check back for new upcoming events that support The Virginian-Pilot's Joy Fund.
If you would like to help today, you can also donate directly to The Joy Fund.

Mermaid Factory

Joy Fund All-Star Classic - This inaugural charity basketball game is set for 3:00 p.m. Sunday March 26, 2017. Held at Virginia Wesleyan College and organized by The Virginian-Pilot, all proceeds benefit The Virginian-Pilot Joy Fund Foundation. Admission is $5 (free for ages 5 and under). Tickets are on sale now.

This competition includes elite teams of top senior high school basketball stars of South Hampton Roads. A girl’s basketball game with a mix of the best local private and public high school players followed by a boy’s basketball game pitting the best private school vs. public school players. This is the perfect opportunity for these outstanding players to “strut their stuff” for the last time as high school basketball stars while benefiting the community. 

The 49th Annual Priority Toyota Charity Bowl Celebrity Football Game 
Saturday, April 15th. Pre-game Festivities: 12 - 1 p.m.
Priority Toyota Charity Football Game: 1 - 2 p.m.

Get ready for a full day of family fun activities on Saturday, April 15 with national sports legends, local dignitaries and media personalities. This year's game will also feature the First Ladies of Football (aka the Washington Redskins Cheerleaders), the Joe Gibbs Racing #18 M&M ShowCar, the Booker T. Washington High School Marching Band and Alumni Band and many other fun and exciting entities. After the Charity Bowl game, stay for the Old Dominion University Monarch Spring Game. For more information go 



Buy these items and support The Joy Fund:
Joy Fund Century of Great PhotographyThe Joy Fund Rick Romano Lighthouse PosterJoy Fund There Goes a Mermaid BookJoy Fund Mermaid Poster

The Virginian-Pilot Offices:
150 W. Brambleton, Norfolk - or - 157 N. Main St., Suite B, Suffolk - or - 5429 Greenwich Rd., Virginia Beach