WHO ARE WE
Joyful Hearts, Inc.'s board of directors is comprised of five uniquely qualified individuals. Each one of us has experienced some situations that have molded our compassion, empathy, understanding and love of life, people and all the joy and heartache that comes with it. We all have had, in different areas of experience, to “walk in their shoes” so to speak. This mission of Joyful Hearts truly came from our hearts, and is really the greatest accomplishment in our gift to others that we have done.
Colleen Sonntag ~
For me, this part of my journey is truly a joy You never really know how your life is going to turn out. Sometimes reality hits you square between the eyes, and things couldn’t be more different from what you had imagined.
What has happened in my life has truly prepared me for this journey to create Joyful Hearts. I am a firm believer that there are no coincidences, things that are meant to be will be. We will be at the right place at the right time for our destiny. I didn’t always feel that way though, and circumstances drove me to seek out the answers to many “why did this happen” questions. The greatest answer that came to me was not a reason for “why”, but a “now what can we do about it”.
My life journey so far has come with a background in accounting, real estate entrepreneur, being a two parent household and being a single parent, caring for a handicapped child and the impact that has on the other siblings, being flat broke and being very well off financially, losing a parent to cancer, losing a sibling as a child, and now realizing the dream that I have had for so many years.
I have seen, held, kissed, hugged, helped, talked to, played with, and cared for a lot of children. I just love children; they are the light of the world. Raising a family of five children was the most wonderful thing I ever did and from that came the real fun of being a grandmother. Right now I have 12 grand children, 3 step grandchildren, 11 great grandchildren, and 7 step great grandchildren. What a joy. Babies are really special to me, I always love when there is a baby in the house. Every child has endless potential, and yet so many children don’t get the chance to realize theirs. Joyful Hearts wants to change that and help every child get their chance. Sometimes to do so is by just giving the family a new avenue. I will be on cloud nine to help as many children as possible with this charity.Brenda Strand ~
Passion, determination and empathy have always been strong personality traits for me. I went to college for nursing and after achieving my Bachelors degree I pursued a twenty year career in the Air Force, a Master of Arts in Human Resource Development, and a Master of Science in Nursing. My career has brought me to a passion for the pediatrics division where I have resided the past eleven years. While in development of my career, I have been blessed with a wonderful marriage of 24 years, and the growth of my family of three children, three horses, two dogs, one cat and a bunny. I truly enjoy my family and animals. In my work as a pediatric nurse practitioner I have seen many areas where we at Joyful Hearts can contribute, support, and forge a brighter future for a lot of children and families, and I am excited to be on this team.
Alysha Cousins ~
My life has been far from easy. The moments that still jump out to me the most are the moments when people held out their hand and helped me up (figuratively). I remember a social worker named Jeanette that went above and beyond her job to help provide my family a christmas. There was an unknown man that paid for laundry detergant when I was a kid and lost the last $20.00 we had to buy things. A woman that switched my cut off date so my paycheck the next day could pay the bill and we could avoid a reconnection fee. A man that reached out to me and treated me like a daughter when my father was falling short. This is a list that could go on, but the point is some of these people I'll never get to thank and I'll never forget. They provided me a hand when no one else would or could and it's because of them that I joined Joyful Hearts. It's time to pay it forward and one day I hope some of the people of whom I help, will get to pay it forward also.
Justin Sonntag ~
I have been a landscaper, plumber, painter, sheetrock hanger, framer, roofer, siding hanger, electrician, tile setter, appliance installer, designer, accountant, seller, negotiator and more just being a real estate entrepreneur. Buying, rebuilding, and then selling houses exposed me to an array of families and the many different situations emotionally, physically and financially we may go through. Knowing how enjoyable it was to create a great home for a family and then help them be able to own their own home is something I want to keep doing and expand upon, but on a profundity level. Joyful Hearts has the foundation for such endeavors. With the emphasis on compassion and helping families realize all their dreams and potentials through edification and care, Joyful Hearts is really the foothold of brighter futures.