THE VIRGINIAN-PILOT JOY FUND - Celebrating 80 years of delivering joy with toys
A new toy is such a small thing, unless you've never had one. Last year The Joy Fund bought toys for over 18,000 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
Following 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.