Recognizing Joy Harris: A Pillars of Change Honoree

In anticipation of Pillars of Change on June 11th, we are highlighting Sanctuary Volunteers who will be honored at the volunteer recognition event! Learn More and Register for Pillars of Change.

Three years ago, after being introduced by a mutual friend, Joy Harris had the opportunity to discuss Sanctuary for Families with Lori Cohen, the Director of Sanctuary’s Anti-Trafficking Initiative.

The Anti-Trafficking Initiative (ATI) provides targeted outreach and services to survivors of sex trafficking. ATI staff support this especially vulnerable population through high quality and holistic civil legal services, while also helping to sensitize and strengthen the response to sex trafficking through their work with criminal justice officials and judges. Since the majority of Sanctuary’s clients within the Anti-Trafficking Initiative are immigrants, staff also leverages their extensive experience in immigration law to help survivors obtain immigration status through T visas and other means.

As a small business owner, Joy searched for an opportunity to give back that easily fit in her busy life, and Lori suggested the perfect opportunity. Lori introduced Joy to one of her clients, Margarita, and her two daughters – the youngest just a newborn when they met. Joy has met with Margarita and her girls weekly for over three years. Joy tutors Margarita in English while also helping the eldest daughter with her homework. As a group, they also enjoy talking and playing games! Joy has been integral to providing familiarity, comfort, consistency, and love to this family, and everyone at Sanctuary who has worked with Margarita and her girls is incredibly grateful for her support.

Joy’s name aptly conveys the impact of her contribution as a volunteer. She brings so much joy into the lives of our client and her two children while imparting the invaluable skill of speaking English with a non-Spanish speaker.  – Lori Cohen

Joy shares that the most memorable part of her tutoring sessions has been to watch the girls grow, and to be a consistent part of their educational growth.

Lori Cohen says, “Joy’s sustained dedication to this client – meeting weekly for over three years – would have been enough to merit this nomination. However, Joy has become so much more than an English language partner. Trafficking clients frequently experience intense isolation after they escape, and Joy has reminded our client that she is not alone in this world, that other people care about her and truly love her.”

Thank you, Joy, for your incredible dedication to this special family!

We hope you will join us at Pillars of Change on June 11th, 2019 to recognize Joy and all of our volunteers for their dedicated service. Please RSVP for Pillars of Change today!