Meet The Joy Bus Diner!
By Give Garden Team Member Melissa Smithson
If you haven’t heard of The Joy Bus Diner, you’re missing out. While the food is delicious (I recommend either the chicken and waffles or the lox plate) and the service and atmosphere are excellent, their mission is truly what elevates the experience.
The Joy Bus Diner was founded in 2011 by Jennifer Caraway after her good friend Joy was diagnosed and ultimately lost her battle with an aggressive form of ovarian cancer. Jennifer has found a beautiful way of honoring Joy’s grace and courage in her struggle with cancer by donating 100% of The Joy Bus Diner’s proceeds to The Joy Bus Meal Delivery Program, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for homebound cancer patients and aiding in the healing process by delivering fresh medically-tailored meals, a social support system, and nutrition education at NO COST to their clients!
Much of The Joy Bus Diner’s success has been attributed to Lisa Coughlin, The Joy Bus Diner’s Restaurant Manager. She is truly one of the most genuine and caring people that employees at the diner have ever had the pleasure to work with. She works hard day in and day out in The Joy Bus Diner to make sure that operations run smoothly and that customers are well taken care of. The Joy Bus Diner would not be what it is without her!
Another very important component of The Joy Bus Diner’s success is the efforts of their wonderful volunteers. From the diner’s beloved volunteer, Mike: "I was diagnosed with stage 5 advanced prostate cancer in November of 2014. Typically, prostate cancer is slow moving and very survivable. But not always, and without symptoms, my cancer had spread to my bones and spine and lungs. It was bad, that little fear in the back of your head had just become real. Darkness came over my community. At this point, as a patient, you feel you can't handle it, mentally. And you begin to look for help, for relief, for light in your community. Driven by the need to try to take the pain away from your family, your children, you crave something positive, some hope. You realize one solution is to reach out and try to help other people. So, you begin looking for a place you can affect other patients in this dark place as a way to ease your own fears and create a positive community.
For me, that community of light and hope became The Joy Bus. I had looked into the traditional, national cancer charities and found them to be too corporate or impersonal, at least for me. Frankly, although I benefit from the large amount of money these organizations raise for research, I wanted to help others and myself in a different way. I wanted to spread love and joy and peace, not hand out water bottles at 10k run. We heard about The Joy Bus through the website and a friend.
The manifestation of this love and joy, became the first chef inspired, healthy meal I delivered, on a Friday to a woman who invited me in for a chat. That led to laughter and companionship for over an hour. She hadn't had very many visitors except medical people in a while. After that encounter, I realized I had found my community of light. The other folks that did deliveries with me became friends, not knowing for over year that I had cancer. My boys and I even took it a step further and helped that original patient move into a better situation for her and her son. I would have never had that opportunity to give without The Joy Bus.
The Joy Bus
Diner is located off AZ-51 and Shea Boulevard at 3375 E. Shea Boulevard,
Phoenix AZ 85028. Business hours are
Tuesday through Sunday from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. and we hope you’ll stop by for a
delicious meal, wonderful service, great atmosphere, friendly conversation, and
the incredible feeling of 100% of your meal proceeds supporting The Joy Bus
Meal Delivery program. Please also
consider following their social media which can be found on Facebook at www.facebook.com/thejoybusdiner, or www.facebook.com/thejoybusord, and on Instragram: @thejoybusorg, or
#thejoybusdiner. You can also visit
their website for additional information at www.thejoybusdiner.com.
Give Garden is proud to support The Joy Bus Diner as one of our charity sponsors! When you sign-up to become a Give Garden subscription customer you can link your account to The Joy Bus Diner and make a difference in the community.