When Joann Susan Randall of Chagrin Falls was first diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer, she was determined to hold on to joy – the peace that envelops the soul. Inspired by reading, “The Book of Joy” by Desmond Tutu and the Dalai Lama, she explored avenues of joy in the form of a healthy mind, body, and spirit. Her road took her further on the path of meditation, reiki, yoga, acupuncture and other mind-body-spirit connection practices.
Randall recognized her privilege to explore the joy sources she did, and she had a vision of helping others access joy in their lives too. A veteran in the field of grant writing and program management, she began developing a plan to do this when her cancer returned in the summer of 2021.
After she passed away in January 2022 at the age of 57, her friends and family proceeded to make her vision a reality. They created the nonprofit organization “Power of JOy.” Its mission is to create opportunities for giving and receiving joy through:
■ Outreach to those experiencing hardship
■ Education around joy concepts and practices, and
■ Connection through shared obstacles and shared avenues to joy
“Power of JOy is written with a capital ‘J’ and ‘O’ because we always called her Jo,” said Kate Frank, Executive Director. “She was a remarkable woman and has always been concerned with those who have less,” added Frank, Randall’s sister-in-law.
On January 7, 2023, Power of JOy sold out its first annual Joann Randall Memorial Charity Pickleball Event at Chagrin Valley Athletic Club with 125 participants. Players competed in a pickleball tournament, and raised $11,700 for outreach programming for those experiencing hardship.
These programs include POJ Kids, a weekly opportunity for kids ages six to 14, from underserved Cleveland neighborhoods to experience connection and joy through outdoor activities, drum circles, fitness workouts, music, holiday parties, and more. Additionally, the organization awards scholarships to individuals for joy practices (reiki, massage, etc.), primarily for caregivers or those who have lost a loved one.
The organization holds regular book discussion groups, meets for POJ circles for people experiencing common obstacles, and organizes hiking outings and volunteer service opportunities. To learn more on how to get involved, visit powerofjoy.net or e-mail email@example.com. STORY BY ANDREA C. TURNER, PHOTOGRAPHS BY DAN GOODELL