Continue loving

(l to r): Miyanna Joye, Founder of The Joye Foundation. Wife, mother to 3, resides in upstate New York. Picured with her mother, Ronna Mora
(l to r): Miyanna Joye, Founder of The Joye Foundation. Wife, mother to 3, resides in upstate New York. Pictured with her mother, Ronna Mora

Insight from Thriving Women.

I recently had the privilege of getting to know Miyanna Joye, who is the Founder and Director of the Joye Foundation. Miyanna knows how to continue loving. She began The Joye Foundation so that children who are growing up in poverty-stricken situations, could be given the opportunity to experience the joy of being a child. Miyanna is a wife, mother to three children, has a full-time career and operates the Foundation. To say the least, she’s very busy but continues to see a need and has the passion to fulfill it. As you read our conversation below you will learn how her foundation began, why Miyanna believes we can each impact one another’s lives and the importance to love and forgive.

Be You and Thrive: Can you share how the concept of The Joye Foundation began?

Miyanna Joye: In November of 2015, I was tossing and turning one evening and couldn’t sleep. ‘Children’ came to mind. The day before we had put up our family Christmas tree with our children and my son was very excited to tell his friends about the tree. The children in my son’s class may know that their parents can’t afford a Christmas tree or they may pretend to have one, in hopes that they did. I started thinking about all of the various children’s organizations, foundations and non-profits that do so much around the holidays; giving food and toys. But no one ever thinks about a Christmas tree. So I decided I would start helping children. And the first program I began under the Foundation was titled, ‘Operation Christmas Tree.’ I planned to give Christmas trees to families that didn’t have the means to buy them for their children.

BY&T: And when you decided that there was a need and that you were going to begin a program to fulfill it, did you experience any doubt? What advice would you give others who may doubt what they want to do?

MJ: I woke up the next morning and I felt 100% scared.  I’m working hard, I have to pay for daycare and there are so many financial things that I have to deal with. I thought, ‘I cannot do this!’ ‘I cannot afford to do this myself!’ I was about to drop the project and God reminded me that He would take care of everything. So I stepped out in faith.

When I reflect back to when I was a child and times were tough, if I would have had that ‘one person’ in my life in that moment I needed them, I think about how different my life would’ve been. So I would ask others to reflect on their childhood. Become that ‘one person’ that is needed. Become that person for someone else.”

BY&T: It is amazing when you follow your passion, even when there is doubt. And then watch the doors open and opportunities arise.

MJ: It was so amazing! I began developing my social media after deciding to go forward with the program and by December 2nd, I had Social Services in Orange County, New York and Prince George’s County, Maryland calling to ask for Christmas trees. Children and teenagers from California were contacting me about their situations and asking for clothing and different things that they needed. It was like an instant firecracker as everyone started to get wind of The Joye Foundation. And at the Foundation I’m always encouraging everyone to follow his or her dreams. I believe if you follow God’s lead, everything will work out. It’s so much more rewarding if you push forward.

BY&T: Earlier you shared about being the ‘one person’ in someone’s life that’s needed. And I noticed you have a promotional t-shirt for The Joye Foundation that says, ‘It takes one step to change a life of another. Transforming what seems to be the end, into a new beginning. I am a life giver.’ Do you think everyone can be a ‘life giver’?

MJ: I think everyone is a life giver. I think God has specific people out there that only you can uniquely touch. For instance, there might be a child that will only respond to you. My goal is to share love with someone to change his or her life in a positive way. And I believe everyone has that ‘one person.’ In my mind, this is what makes the world go round.

BY&T: You have such beautiful compassion and empathy. Where did you get your passion to help others?

MJ: My mother gave me everything—to where she had nothing. She allowed me to be who I am today. She always reminds me of stories from when I was younger. I recall her taking me to a Christmas event where they gave out toys to children in need. I remember I ended up getting a doll and this other girl standing by me got a teddy bear. She really wanted the doll, so I gave her mine and I got the bear.  I’ve never forgotten the excitement she shared for that doll. That’s something that really stuck in my mind as a child. She was head-over-heels about this little doll. I believe that was the start of my passion.

BY&T: Whenever I have the honor of coming across someone like you, I am always reminded that this is the path you have chosen. Not only are you managing this beautiful endeavor for children, but you also care for your own children and have a husband and a career. With each of these roles in your life, how do you make self-care a priority?

MJ: I haven’t always been the type of woman to put myself first. I used to go shopping for myself and come back with things for my kids and husband. I began thinking about this and realized, I support my kids and my husband, but I matter too. I recall talking to my husband about this as I was focused on getting my dream (The Foundation) started. It’s so important for women to pause and take time for themselves. We can give so much and become drained at the end of each day. And the wonderful part of having the type of dream that I do, is that it’s easy to incorporate my family into it. And that’s one of the best things that you can do as a mother—have your family be involved in your dreams. It keeps my family excited and headed in the same direction.

BY&T: What do you envision for the future of The Joye Foundation?

MJ: Within the next five years, I plan to have an office in every state where programs can be specifically run by and for that individual state.

BY&T: Do you have any closing thoughts or advice that you have learned from your various experiences?


Continue loving. It is also important for us as women to learn how to forgive. There are so many women walking around holding unforgiveness inside. And it’s stopping our growth. We need to learn how to forgive and empower each other to love.”

More about The Joye Foundation.

Visit The Joye Foundation website to learn more about this worthy cause.

The Joye Foundation’s Four Main Programs:

Operation Christmas Tree
Each December, Operation Christmas Tree provides trees for families with children and young teens who are in need.

The Starve Out Hunger Youth Kitchen
The Joye Foundation travels to various cities around the U.S. that have a high percentage of children living in poverty. They educate communities and bring them together to help make an impact. Meals, school supplies, clothing and toiletries are provided. This event also engages the community with performances for youth, games and arts and crafts.

My Birthday Wish
Parents who cannot afford to buy their children birthday supplies are provided with birthday party essentials including; cake, birthday decorations and gifts.

Individual Needs
Items are given to meet individual needs.

To donate funds, miscellaneous items or volunteer your time, please visit the website or contact The Joye Foundation at [email protected]


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  1. Angel
    May 12, 2016, 9:37 EST

    I’m very proud of my cousin anything you put your mind to you can accomplish

    • MightyD
      May 12, 2016, 9:50 EST

      Thanks for sharing Angel. I love your thoughts, ‘…anything you put your mind to you can accomplish!’ = Awesome!