Here is a quick update of what is happening here at The Joyful Project.
2017 was an incredible year for us. We ventured out to three outdoor night markets, added new fair trade products to the lineup, recruited tons of passionate volunteers, blogged about important things in life, and had our best ever Concert for Socks. Attica Riots, Lakani, and Upper Lakes rocked the house and we collected 1200+ pairs of socks from crowds of generous Winnipeggers. We are excited to begin planning for Concert for Socks 4 but that will happen later this year. If you have band and city suggestions, please let us know. Every year we visit a different city and all socks collected at that concert go to a local charity in that city. It’s awesome!
In January we launched our first ever crowdfunding campaign in an effort to raise $5000 in support of manufacturing new long sleeve shirts. The heart of The Joyful Project is our desire to see people vulnerable to trafficking and poverty find meaningful employment and opportunities for a better, self-sustainable life full of hope and joy. This is possible through our collaboration with Freeset. Based out of India, Freeset is a freedom business that exists for the thousands of women in West Bengal who are trapped in the sex trade or are vulnerable to trafficking. We have worked closely with Freeset to create our t-shirts and supply our other fair trade items. Now we are collaborating once again to produce long sleeve shirts. We are inviting people to join us and make this next project a reality. We are in the process of working through design concepts for the front on the shirts and so far have been very encouraged by what our artists have been dreaming up.
Also in January, Andrew and Tanya participated in a panel discussion and Q&A at the University of Manitoba as part of an event called “Making an Impact - Winnipeg Entrepreneurs”. This event is highlighting social entrepreneurship. We were excited to be part of this evening and heard from a diverse group of local entrepreneurs. We were also inspired and encouraged by the questions asked by those in attendance. Lots of motivated people out there with great ideas for the community and making it a better place.
February is going to be an adventurous month for us here at The Joyful Project. We are entering a team into the Wild Winter Canoe Race on February 19th. This really is a wild event, we will be racing a canoe down a frozen river. Event organizers describe it this way: “Have a blast and help Inclusion Winnipeg raise money to support the Emergency Card Project for the design of a critical communication tool for people who have challenges interacting when in distress.” Be sure to follow us on Instagram and Facebook on race day for photos and videos live from the event. If you’re in Winnipeg come on down and cheer us on.
March 8th we are hosting an evening of listening and learning. We will be showing a documentary called “Human Trafficking: Canada’s Secret Shame” which was created by The Joy Smith Foundation. Here at The Joyful Project we are passionate about social justice and within that, educating and creating opportunities for involvement. We are thankful to have with us during this night, Joy Smith B.Ed, M.Ed, founder and president of The Joy Smith Foundation. Joy Smith, was a teacher for 23 years, a Member of the Manitoba legislature from 1999-2003, and a Member of Parliament from 2004-2015. Joy Smith is known as a leading advocate against human trafficking worldwide, and a champion of women’s rights. In 2011, she founded the "Joy Smith Foundation”, where she tirelessly volunteers her time combatting human trafficking, and fighting for the rights of women in Canada and around the globe. At our event on March 8th Joy Smith will provide a brief presentation and Q&A after the documentary. This is an incredible opportunity and we are happy to welcome her with us. We also have with us that night, Dianna Bussey from The Salvation Army, who will share briefly about human trafficking and how people can get involved and do something. This will be a powerful evening and we hope to see you there.
So there you have it, a little update on what has been happening and what is yet to come. We love volunteers and can always use help and encouragement around here. There are many different ways to help out and we would love to hear from you and how you would like to be part of The Joyful Project. Thank you for your support.
/ Written by Founder - Andrew Benson