Tori Joy's Smiles
We are an organization that sends cheerful mail to children in difficult circumstances. The kids on our mailing list deal with everything from being bullied in school, to having special needs or health issues, to being homeless or being the victim of a crime. We just aim to give them something to look forward to and show them that people out here care.
Tori Joy's Smiles began in early 2013. The organizer, Nicki Mann, had a friend whose 7-year-old daughter was going through chemotherapy. The child had a "chemo angel," someone who sent her cheery cards and small gifts on a weekly basis. Ms. Mann knew that this brought a lot of smiles to the little girl, who had already been through a lot in her young life... the child had been in foster care until the age of 5, and was then adopted by her foster mother, only to find out that she had neurofibromatosis shortly thereafter. Inspired by this little girl's strength and spirit, Ms. Mann wanted to do something to help other children. It occurred to her that, although there are several organizations that send mail to children with chronic illnesses, children going through various other difficult situations might also benefit from such a service. She started a group, and named it after the child who had first inspired her... Torianna Joy.