Random Acts of Kindness Inspire a Business and Helping Others.
Joy Klohonatz born on a Mercer country farm, received her degree at Penn State, and blazed a trail as one of the first seven women in the country to manage a K-Mart retail store. In that role, she became widely recognized for her ability to deliver world-class customer service. It also awakened a drive to really listen to and care for people in extraordinary ways. A few decades later, that inspiration carries over into her current business as an Executive Affiliate of Send Out Cards (www.sendoutcards.com/carewithjoy).
Send Out Cards is an online relation development company, that gives people the tools to design their own greeting cards. The cards are printed, stuffed, stamped, and sent directly to recipients via the website. Joy fell in love with the mission of the company by accident. “I was a customer and I had bought a double subscription. I was sitting on a lot of cards, so I decided for three days I was going to send three random cards each day. I remember seeing an employee of the month recognition on the board at Wendy’s. I copied her name down and went home and mailed a congratulations to the store. These random acts of kindness were fun but I wasn’t prepared for the impact. I was getting phone calls. I was getting text messages. I actually had two people calling in tears. The day they got my card, they were having such a bad day and they opened this envelope and it says, ‘hey sunshine, hope your day’s brighter.’ “This experience started a personal movement for Joy. She became an affiliate of the company and is now in her 10th year of business sharing and caring.
“What I love most about it is that I can make people smile,” says Joy. “Whether it’s a congratulations, appreciation, or recognition, there’s something truly powerful about it. And as a business owner, I’m helping others to reach out and do the same. It makes the world a better place.”
Joy views her involvement with the United Way’s Women’s Leadership Council (WLC) in the same way. “We’re women with the same mindset to help other people. We are part of something bigger than ourselves. We are the choices that we make. Choosing WLC, and renewing each year, is about opening your eyes to the opportunities to help others.”
In the past, Joy has helped run the annual WLC breakfasts. Before moving to the area, she was a long-time organizer of Day of Caring, helping to identify and assign groups to the various projects in the community. “Pitching in is almost effortless. United Way loves what they do. They love helping people. I feel that passion every time I get involved and I value that,” says Joy.
Whether it’s through her business or her involvement with WLC, Joy is all about making a difference. “I want to be that person that turns around someone’s day. Puts a smile on their face. I truly believe that if all of us did more of that in the world, we would help more people facing their own struggles,” says Joy.
To learn more about the United Way’s Women’s Leadership Council, contact Lynne Popash at firstname.lastname@example.org in Allegheny County, Terri Dominick at email@example.com in Westmoreland County, or Sherrie Dunlap Gallagher at firstname.lastname@example.org in Butler County.