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Ellevate OC Community Connections: Creating Joy Jars and the Importance of "Never Ever Give Up!"

Irvine, CA • November 14, 2018

Resilience and gratitude are lessons for life. Join us to create"Joy Jars" with intentional networking and lite bites. Learn the story of twelve year old Jess Rees and share her inspiring legacy!

Wednesday, November 14, 2018 5:45 PM - 8:00 PM PST

Jessie Rees Foundation
9701 Research Dr. Suite 150
Irvine, CA 92618

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Jessie’s Wish was to encourage every kid fighting cancer to Never Ever Give Up, which is the goal of our Year of Joy program. Over the course of a year, kids fighting cancer and their family members receive fun doses of hope, joy and love. These special “doses” are our gift to each qualifying courageous family that registers.   


The Jessie Rees Foundation was, and always will be, inspired by one courageous and compassionate 12 year old little girl. Her name, Jessica Joy Rees, better known as “Jessie”. Jessie was a faith-filled, beautiful, athletic, caring and loving twelve year old girl who courageously fought two brain tumors (DIPG) from March 3, 2011 to January 5, 2012. She loved her family very much and her puppy Mr. Moe.

During Jessie’s ten-month courageous fight, she personally stuffed and sent out 3,000 JoyJars to children fighting cancer in homes and hospitals. She was even given the opportunity to personally deliver her JoyJars to kids at City of Hope Hospital. That experience gave Jessie a great deal of pride and enjoyment as she experienced first-hand, the impact her JoyJars had on the lives of other kids.

Jessie’s compassion for others led her to ask her parents a short and simple question, “How can we help them?” Jessie was referring to the other children who were in long term, in-patient treatment at Childrens Hospital of Orange County, the same hospital that Jessie was receiving treatment from.

After receiving the “go ahead” from her parents to find a way to help, Jessie created JoyJars®. She just loved creating these fun-filled gifts of joy to share with her peers who were fighting cancer and she continued to encourage them to NEGU®. NEGU, Never Ever Give Up, was Jessie’s personal motto and message.

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Kristy Wallace
Kristy Wallace

New York, NY

CEO at Ellevate Network

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Maricella Herrera Avila

VP Operations & Strategy at Ellevate Network

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