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Wednesday Wisdom: Creating “Joy” Funds

August 10, 2022

Wednesday Wisdom, Inspiration, Motivation for Women Entrepreneurs, Female Business Owners, Small Businesses

On one cold winter day, my friend Teresa said to me, “I created a JOY fund where I have money set aside to use the fund for myself or someone else. The only stipulation is the money be used to bring joy to my life or others.” Coming from a background in Higher Education, this idea seemed like another scholarship fund but with an even cooler personal twist to it.

Teresa was a seasoned woman entrepreneur who taught leadership programs for teens and peaceful Adirondack Mountain retreats for other females so it made sense to me this kind-hearted spirit would create such a wonderful idea to help others or to bring pleasure to her life.

Teresa Dowe Huggins – Serving coffee to her guests

“I accept your invitation, only if it truly brings you joy Teresa,” I said. Her invitation was to a Woman’s Retreat she was hosting at Minnowbrook Conference Center in Blue Mountain Lake where she ‘felt I had to be’ to help me cope with the loss of all my hair to alopecia. I wasn’t sure I was ready to reveal myself to complete strangers yet, so I wore my real hair wig the first two days of the weekend. But slowly the magic of Teresa’s work and the kindness of the women encircling me, throughout the transformative experience, led me to showing up the final morning with only a hat on and sharing the fact I had been wearing a wig to hide my bald head.

Teresa Dowe Huggins & Tracy Chamberlain Higginbotham – Poolside Soulsisters

Looking over at one point, I saw Teresa smile, her beaming joyful smile, knowing her joy fund, which paid for my lodging at the event, had worked its miracle. I left the beautiful event transformed, more confident, and ready to slowly ‘come out’ to other people. When the Covid-19 pandemic hit, I took the concept of Teresa’s JOY fund and used my entire first government check of $1,200 buying from as many woman owned businesses as I could in my membership until it was all gone, to support any loss of sales and show them some type of support. It honestly brought me joy to use it all on them.

Teresa Dowe Huggins – The Women TIES “Inspiring Success” Retreat

Today’s Wednesday Wisdom, in honor of my friend Teresa, who joyfully left this world last Thursday, is to inspire you to contemplate creating some sort of fund of your own to help others. What is life without sharing your money or experiences with people who matter to you? Does excess money in your business account truly bring you joy or just security? Could someone else use it more than you when you are asked to give or feel you should help someone out? Teresa didn’t bring her bank account to heaven, but she brought priceless, joyful memories of helping others with her.

Teresa touched my life over our twelve year friendship, in many more ways than her JOY Fund, but the essence of her love for life and giving to others is an indelible mark on my soul. I hope the next time you feel something tugging at your heart strings, you do something positive about it bringing you and others the type of joy that only selfless giving brings to life

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