Build Joy

If you were given $1,000 to #BuildJoy
in your community, how would you spend it?

For the second consecutive holiday season, we asked Taylor Morrison team members for their ideas for giving back in their communities. Dozens of ideas for acts of kindness poured in. Ten causes were selected, and teams went to work to #BuildJoy. From creating dream room makeovers for kids fighting cancer, to supporting veterans in a VA hospital with needed supplies, to showing gratitude to hardworking teachers with a lounge furniture upgrade – see how the Taylor Morrison team created joyful moments across the country:

Here's how Taylor Morrison builds joy.

Denise Swamy, Sacramento, California

Hearing a child’s story who has been diagnosed with a life threatening disease is heartbreaking. As a mom of four healthy children, Denise chose to #BuildJoy with the Sweet Dreams Organization whose mission is to "improve the quality of life for children who have been diagnosed with a life-threatening disease through the creation of their dream bedroom."

"None of my children have health problems, but I cannot imagine how hard it is for the parents of these children to see their little angels go through such a hard time with medical issues," said Denise.

When Denise made the call to the local nonprofit, she was shocked to hear the randomly chosen child was one of our very own—a Taylor Morrison’s employee’s 11-year-old son, James.

"Everyone here at the Sacramento office are ecstatic about the opportunity to help give this gift of joy, kindness and smiles to James and his family—our extended TM family," said Denise.

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Tracy Briones, Tampa, Florida

Nearly 2.3 million people are victims of domestic violence each year. In the little town of Ruskin, just outside of Tampa, a non-profit domestic violence shelter, Mary & Martha House, has been helping women and families escape violence and homelessness for 35 years.

"I have seen the good works they have done in the community and want to be a part of it," said Tracy. "All of the families in the Mary & Martha House are leaving a bad situation and are at a low point in their life."

Tracy set out to #BuildJoy by purchasing a playground set for the shelter. "This new playground represents the start of a new beginning for the women and their children—giving them a safe place to play and be together," said Tracy.

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Krystle Vega, Maitland, Florida

Krystle and Carlos are a husband and wife duo at Taylor Morrison-Krystle works on the mortgage side of the business and Carlos as a superintendent. They have a family tradition of making care kits to give to the homeless each holiday season. But this year, armed with $1,000 from Taylor Morrison, they were able to make their tradition spread farther and wider.

They chose to #BuildJoy by compiling care kits complete with personal hygiene items, food and clothes to keep warm. Together they handed out more than 120 care kits to the homeless community at a park.

"We wanted to be hands-on and make sure these care kits went directly to those on the street," said Krystle. "The reactions from everyone we encountered were priceless! They were filled with so much gratitude while receiving all of the packaged items. It was so heartwarming to know that little things like this make a big difference in others' lives."

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Nadia Edwards, Scottsdale, Arizona

A few years ago the Department of Child Safety, ChildHelp and the City of Phoenix created an emergency placement center that provides temporary housing for children. The center removes them from unsafe environments and gives them a safe place to rest before entering foster care.

"I am truly a child’s advocate and I feel that all children are a gift," said Nadia. "We have some children become dis-functioning adults simply because they were not nurtured correctly. We all have an opportunity to create an amazing adult by simply filling a child with love, compassion and understanding."

Nadia chose to #BuildJoy by giving back to the center and volunteers who support and comfort the center’s incoming children. She hopes the donations will help the children feel a little more comfortable as they enter foster care.

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Michael Carroll, Houston, Texas

Michael’s son, Tristen, was diagnosed with a rare cancer at just 16 months old. "My son's life was saved by Texas Children's Hospital and Dr. McClain," said Michael. "Tristen was diagnosed with a rare cancer called Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis.

He went through three rounds of chemo and a lot of pain when he was still just a baby. Dr. McClain sent the cancer into remission right as it was starting to attack Tristen’s brain stem. He is 17 years old now and about to graduate high school, and we still keep in touch with and see Dr. McClain regularly."

Michael chose to #BuildJoy by donating unwrapped gifts to the very same hospital that saved his son’s life—and he even held an event for Houston-area homeowners to get involved, too. "Needless to say I have a soft spot in my heart for kids fighting cancer."

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Chad Eby, Chandler, Arizona

Chad knows that oftentimes teachers are the ones who purchase the majority of the classroom and office supplies needed each year—and he wanted to help. Together with his daughter, Chad set out to #BuildJoy at Tarwater Elementary, where his daughter attends sixth grade.

When Chad and his daughter asked the Tarwater Elementary teachers what they needed, a space for teachers to come together and collaborate came to mind.

Armed with $1,000 from Taylor Morrison, Chad and his daughter were able to quickly bring the space to life, which was then unveiled in a special ceremony for all teachers to enjoy.

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Denise Schneider, Raleigh, North Carolina

Denise chose to #BuildJoy by donating to a local veteran's hospital. Team members from across the Raleigh Division came together to pack and deliver over 200 gift bags for veterans staying in the hospital over the holidays. "You would be surprised at what our veterans do not have and so desperately need," Denise shared.

Denise has many family members who served in the military including her grandfather, who recently passed away. Robert R Holmes Sr. fought in the Battle of the Bulge during World War II and was inducted into the Army Hall of Fame in 2015. "We should all support and help our veterans get back on their feet," Denise added. "The joy on the veterans' faces when they received our gifts is something you never forget."

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Elaine Hall, Atlanta, Georgia

Elaine chose to #BuildJoy with No Longer Bound, a non-profit substance abuse recovery program for men in the greater Atlanta area. No Longer Bound has been serving the community for nearly three decades and over 1,200 men have completed the program.

"So many of us have tragedies in our lives related to drugs and alcohol. I have personally had two tragedies and it can be very hard to talk about sometimes, that's why this particular organization is very close to my heart." Elaine used her funds to purchase items like hats, gloves, scarves, and games for the men in recovery.

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Tori DeSimone, Bay Area, California

Tori chose to #BuildJoy with an organization called Rooms of Hope, which creates a dream "oasis" such as a bedroom, backyard or playroom for children with life-threatening illnesses.

Together with Rooms of Hope, Tori was able to provide a dream room make over for Lily, a 17-year-old junior in high school fighting cancer, and Lily’s older sister, Hennah, who chose not to go away to college so she could stand by her little sister as she battles cancer.

The stunning new rooms made quite an impression on Lily, Hennah and their entire family. Lily’s mother was so touched, she said she wants to pay it forward by volunteering for another family’s room makeover once Lily completes her treatments.

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Olivia Mayes, Dallas, Texas

Olivia saw the impact of homelessness near her Dallas community — camps of homeless individuals and families were an almost daily sight, and child poverty is particularly common in the Dallas area.

Armed with $1,000 from Taylor Morrison, Olivia collected necessities like winter gloves, hats and blankets, mini first-aid kits, as well as non-perishable food and water to make the daily struggle just a little easier. Her fellow team members joined in helping her sort and pack the items into packs that she then handed out personally to people in a homeless camp.

"We gave out items at the homeless camp as an effort to spread love and hope, and ease the suffering of the homeless community," said Olivia. "These people need hope and opportunity to rehabilitate themselves and I think this is a great start."

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Build Joy

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