We are always so amazed by the amount of compassionate love and support kids show for their peers when in need. Whether it be hosting a lemonade stand, a bake sale or a fundraising party, countless kids are in our communities supporting one another and supporting their cause.
Jessica (Jessie) Rees was a perfect example of one girl, with a simple idea and a huge heart who started a global movement. During her 10-month fight with DIPG (Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma), a time when most people would be looking inward, 12 year old Jessie chose to focus her time and energy helping other kids- courageous kids, who felt lonely and limited due to their own fight with cancer. She was only three weeks into her own treatment when she asked her parents, “How can we help them”, referring to the children who were in-patient at Children’s Hospital Orange County. That same night, she began to create the beginnings of her JoyJars. JoyJars, named after her middle name Joy are plastic jars filled with toys, games and activities, along with a special note—her motto and inspirational message—NEGU, Never Ever Give Up.
To-date, an estimated 50,000 JoyJars have been sent to kids fighting cancer all over the world. Jessie, in 10 short months, had made a major impact on childhood cancer awareness and will continue to do so for years to come. She has rallied a community of compassionate kids and adults to help bring more awareness, more resources and more funding to fight childhood cancers. Since Jessie’s passing in early 2012, countless kids have stepped up to continue spreading Jessie’s message of love and encouragement for kids fighting cancer. They are hosting parties, holding school fundraisers and spreading Jessie’s message to NEGU-Never Ever Give Up. Here are some amazing ideas for fundraisers that kids have come up with to support their peers fighting cancer and to support Jessie’s mission.
The holidays are the perfect time to hold a fundraiser or an awareness event. This sweet girl chosen Valentine’s Day to spread Jessie’s NEGU message with her “NEGU” tines. Her handwritten Valentine’s Day cards were sent with love and inspiration to all of her friends. What a fun and important message to send on the day of love.
This idea was so fun—a Halloween Dress Up fundraiser! These tiny tots were so thoughtful as they incorporated Jessie’s NEGU message into their festive fall celebration and raised money to support their peers fighting cancer.
Love this- schools joining together to fund raise for a cause! A small idea can make a big impact. This elementary school raised money as a group to support Jessie’s JoyJars—and what a great incentive, a Jar with small little hearts to note their progress. Looks like they filled the Jar!
This picture tells it all, compassionate kids, supporting one another. What a wonderful way to bring awareness to childhood cancer while supporting their peers who have been affected.
We all know birthday parties are a big deal to kids. So when we see a child ask for donations for a charity in lieu of gifts, we are always so amazed. These kids have huge hearts. These kids displayed a wonderful act of kindness and support for their peers as they raised money for Jessie’s JoyJars at their own birthday celebration.
Joy Drives are so fun, so easy and a great way to support courageous kids fighting cancer. This young man rallied a group of friends, sent them a list of hospital approved toys and held a successful Joy Drive that will help send JoyJars to countless kids.
A BIG thank you to all of our compassionate kids out there doing amazing things in your communities to support Jessie’s wish. Do you have a fun idea for a fundraiser or awareness campaign? We want to hear it. We also have a list of ways you can help!
Thank you for visiting us. The Jessie Rees Foundation is a pediatric cancer foundation inspired by 12 year old Jessie Rees. Jessie was a beautiful, athletic, smart and compassionate girl who fought two brain tumors (DIPG) for ten months and two days. On January 5, 2012 Jessie earned her angel wings. During her courageous fight, Jessie focused on spreading hope, joy and love to other kids fighting. She knew having cancer made you feel lonely and limited so she chose to spread love stuffed in her JoyJars®. JoyJars® have now become a recognized symbol of hope, joy and love in over 200 Children’s Hospitals, 175 Ronald McDonald Houses and 11 countries. Jessie also shared her motto to NEGU (Never Ever Give Up) through her Facebook Fan Page that has over 200,00 fans. This message of hope, strength and perseverance has made its way around the world inspiring both young and old to stay strong and reach for their goals. Jessie’s motto to Never Ever Give Up will always be our message to kids and families across the globe.
To join Jessie in supporting courageous kids fighting cancer, donate for JoyJars.