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PRESS RELEASE | Bank of America Awards Grant to Nonprofit, Designed For Joy, To Help Vulnerable Women Overcome Barriers





Bank of America Awards Grant to Nonprofit, Designed For Joy, To Help Vulnerable Women Overcome Barriers

Launching Equipped Women into the Marketplace


RALEIGH, N.C., July 22, 2022 — Designed For Joy (DFJ, www.designedforjoy.com) is proud to announce that it has received a $15,000 grant from Bank of America, which will help provide living wages to its artisans as they rebuild their lives. "We are honored to be recognized by Bank of America for the work we are doing in providing immediate employment for women in crisis," said Cary Heise, DFJ Executive Director and Founder. 


Bank of America partners with nonprofits like DFJ, who are dedicated to removing obstacles to economic success for vulnerable populations, including youth, working families, and those experiencing barriers to employment, including the homeless and formerly incarcerated. "This grant will fund 1,000 hours of living wage work for our community's most vulnerable women, allowing them to move mentally, physically, and financially to a more stable place," added Heise.


"We applaud Designed for Joy’s commitment to helping women in crisis chart a path toward stability and long-term economic opportunity,” said Kari Stoltz, President, Bank of America Triangle. "Their mission to provide immediate employment and a living wage for women working to rebuild their lives aligns with Bank of America’s commitment to advancing the economic empowerment of women and advancing racial equality.”


At Designed For Joy, a living wage means an income that provides women with more positive choices rather than resorting to a desperate decision to provide food for the family and pay rent.


"At this time, everything is so expensive. Even at the cheapest grocery store, the basics are so expensive. Making $15 an hour helps us buy food, helps us survive," explained one Designed For Joy Artisan. 


The organization’s goal is for participants to leave DFJ with marketable skills and a solid job reference to succeed in the job market and the strength and confidence to move forward in life. Designed For Joy has hired 77 women and paid more than $200,000 in living wages, as the need for immediate living wage work is ongoing in the community. As DFJ heads into year five, they plan to increase the number of living wage hours by ten percent and funding from this grant is key to meeting that goal.




About Designed For Joy

Designed For Joy is a transitional work experience for women coming from trafficking, homelessness, time in prison, overcoming addiction or other vulnerable situations. We provide living wage work hours while building confidence and refreshing resumes. 


The women who create our brand with us are those living at high risk for sex and labor trafficking and/or food and housing insecurities. We partner with long-running ministries or local NGOs serving women that may be coming out of trafficking, emergency situations, generational poverty, homelessness, rehab, or prison. We believe in a community approach. We provide the vocational resource component in this holistic care approach while our professional partners do what they do best.