South Orange Sisters — Founders of ‘Girls Helping Girls. Period’ — Win Russ Berrie ‘Making a Difference’ Award

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From Girls Helping Girls. Period.:

Emma and Quinn Joy, from South Orange, NJ are honored to be recipients of the 2021 Russ Berrie Making A Difference Award. The Joys are sisters who, along with their mother, founded Girls Helping Girls. Period., a non-profit dedicated to assisting families in need of menstrual products and educating about how period poverty deprives many of education and work. Emma and Quinn will be honored during a virtual awards ceremony on May 7 at 11:30am. 

Quinn Joy (Left) and Emma Joy (Right). Photo credit: Elise Joy

Just since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, Girls Helping Girls. Period. has donated more than 500,000 menstrual products all over New Jersey and beyond via emergency food distributions, social services outreach and in partnerships with schools. The award was given to Emma and Quinn who, according to the Russ Berrie Award presenters, “embody the spirit of making a difference while advocating and educating others to erase the stigma surrounding menstrual health.” 

While their work has had to adapt to meet the restrictions presented by Covid-19, their outreach has expanded with a new system of distribution and virtual workshops and presentations. “I love connecting with people and helping them understand how their generosity in donations can have such a meaningful impact on so many people. This award not only recognizes our work, but will help us in our mission to educate those who may not even realize period poverty exists” said Emma Joy, a 21-year-old junior at American University studying environmental science. “A person in school can miss an entire class just trying to find a menstrual product and taking care of something so basic as a period. We hope this award makes others think about what so many of us take for granted,” offered Quinn Joy, a 17-year-old senior at Columbia High School, in Maplewood, NJ. 

The sisters never meant to start a non-profit five years ago; they were simply doing a project that helped so many, they never looked back. Their mother, Elise Joy, now runs the organization as its executive director. “I am so proud of the kindness and compassion of my daughters. The Russ Berrie Making A Difference Award is beautiful recognition of how a bit of effort, and a lot of heart, can truly create lasting change,” said Elise of the honor. 

About the Russell Berrie Foundation

The Russell Berrie Foundation was established in 1985 by Russell Berrie, an entrepreneur and philanthropist. He had a passion for giving that was grounded in his deep belief in humanity, the importance of touching the lives of ordinary people, the importance of strengthening the local community in New Jersey, and the power of using philanthropy to help achieve transformational change. The Russell Berrie Foundation seeks to continue Russ’ mission by providing significant support to strengthen New Jersey’s arts, cultural, and health care institutions, and celebrates everyday people who make a significant difference in the lives of others through the Russ Berrie Making a Difference Award.

For inquiries and comment, please reach out to Elise Joy can be reached at (908) 451-7779.

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