joy of giving

Each year, the Harmon Group raises money for families in the community through The Joy of Giving.  In 2015 alone, we purchased Christmas presents for 106 children, assisted 56 families with misc. expenses including making house payments and repairs and flood and fire recovery, and made monetary donations to 10 area organizations.  Partnering with Gleaners Mobile Food Pantry, The Joy of Giving was successful in providing a turkey dinner and necessity items for over 400 families the weekend before Christmas.  In total, we raised over $61,000.

This organization has grown to become more successful than we could have imagined when it began. Before The Joy of Giving was formed, the Harmon family’s value for charitable giving led them to encourage their employees to give back to the community. In the early 1990’s, their encouragement resulted in employees pitching in money to donate to a local coordinating council.  The next year, employees raised money to help one needy family at Christmas time.  Around this time, the Harmon Group acquired Taylor Bros., and with a growing number of employees to donate, more families could be assisted.  In the following years, employees contacted schools during the Christmas season to find increasing numbers of families to help.  As this outreach continued to grow, Bill, Tom, and Willie Harmon looked for additional ways to raise money for the community.

Their efforts led to The Joy of Giving being launched as a Christmas fundraiser in 2005.  This entailed a friendly competition between the three companies (Harmon Construction, Harmon Steel, and Taylor Bros.), with the company that raised the most money being given a trophy to display in their office for the year.  The first year, the Harmon Group raised a total of about $8,000.00, and the money was matched by the owners.  This fundraiser grew rapidly over the next few years, and in 2009, over $32,000 was raised.  After 2009, we had the fortunate problem of raising too large of a sum to continue to match.  As a result, the Harmon Group realized that this success called for something even bigger than a Christmas fundraiser.

In response to the enormous growth seen in just a few years, employees worked to expand The Joy of Giving into a not-for-profit organization in 2010.  In doing so, it became a year-round effort to support families in the community.  In addition to helping around Christmas time, we are now able to assist families in situations involving illnesses, house fires, past-due bills, etc.  Another branch of our outreach is focused on sending care packages to our military personnel who are overseas.  In addition, we have started The Backpack Program in Jennings County Schools. This program provides food to last through the weekend to every child who does not have enough food to eat when they are away from school.  We have also implemented food pantries in Jennings County Middle School and High School.

The Joy of Giving has grown into an effort that is beyond what Harmon Group employees can accomplish without outside assistance.  Much of what is raised is donated by individuals and companies within the local community.  Some people who partner with the Joy of Giving do not live in the communities that are directly assisted, but they choose to give because they see the good that the organization can do. Owners of the Harmon Group now provide assistance each year by sponsoring the cost of fundraising.  This ensures that 100% of the money raised can go directly to families in need.  As The Joy of Giving continues to evolve, we thank you for your support and invite you to be a part of the exciting growth that is occurring through this organization.