Resource Management Senior Associate Kathy Cruz discovered her passion for Joy’s House, an Indianapolis-based not-for-profit, through what she calls a “seven degrees of Kevin Bacon story.” Joy’s House provides day care for adults living with dementia and other physical and mental challenges, as well as respite and resources for caregivers.
In 2010, Kathy attended a charity event for Joy’s House, where she was moved by speaker Tina McIntosh, the organization’s founder and CEO. A few months later, her daughter, Lilah, was invited to a birthday party by a family from preschool whose name seemed familiar. It was the CEO’s daughter. As the two moms became friendly, Kathy learned more about Joy’s House. “I was completely drawn in,” she said.
With one in three adults in the Indianapolis community caring for an aging or disabled loved one, Joy’s House provides critical services to the community, and their personalized approach won Kathy’s respect. “Clients are treated as the whole people they are, not as just their diagnosis,” said Kathy. “You leave there feeling happy.”
A “party planner at heart,” Kathy helped organize the Joy’s House annual gala for several years. As her children got older, she stepped away from that commitment and made her work with Joy’s house a family affair.
“Visiting Joy’s House has been great for my kids to interact with and understand people who may look and act differently,” said Kathy. When her seven-year-old son, Max, received 50 cents from the tooth fairy, he came to Kathy and told her he wanted to give it to Joy’s House because “they need it more than I do.” Later, Max requested donations to Joy’s House rather than presents for his birthday party.
Max and Lilah also had a rock sale in their neighborhood, painting rocks with inspirational sayings. The sale raised over $300 for Joy’s House.“
Being involved with Joy’s House has truly been a gift for me and my family,” said Kathy. “I’m so grateful the Baker Tilly Foundation could help provide them with this powerful boost, especially now when families and organizations are experiencing added stress.”
Pictured left: Kathy and her husband Charlie