Wilk honors Project Joy as Nonprofit of the Year

Pictured L-R, Desireé Smith, Kimberly Watson, Senator Scott Wilk and Shameka Beaugard*

SACRAMENTO – Today, the California Association of Nonprofits hosted California Nonprofits Day at the California State Capitol.  Senator Scott Wilk chose Project Joy of Palmdale as the 21st Senate District’s Nonprofit of the Year.

“Fittingly founded on Valentine’s Day in 2014, Project Joy is all heart. Its mission - to empower, educate and encourage its clients to break the cycle of poverty – has provided children and families dealing with homelessness, domestic violence, living in foster care and other traumatic issues with a helping hand,” said Wilk. “These are some of the most challenging problems facing Californians and Project Joy fills that niche with grace and love. I couldn’t be more proud to honor their good work.”

Senator Wilk presented Desireé Smith, Shameka Beaugard and Kimberly Watson, founder of Project Joy, with the Nonprofit of the Year Award on the Senate Floor today.

Project Joy has made a lasting impact on the lives of many Antelope Valley families. Its programs - Families in Transition (F.I.T.) and Young Learners For Life (YL4L) – conduct donation drives for career clothing, books and other needed materials as well as meeting the needs of at-risk students by adopting a school and providing college scholarships to students that have overcome extreme odds.

The 2019 Nonprofit of the Year award winners were chosen based on their long-standing support of the community, civic involvement and dedication to the community in which they are located. Kimberly Watson was in Sacramento to receive the award from Senator Wilk.

“Our team is filled with caring individuals who are willing to go that extra mile to help someone in need. It is an honor to receive this recognition today for a job we all love,” said Kimberly Watson. “Everything we do is carefully designed to empower, educate and encourage our youth and adult participants. Every project we undertake has the ultimate goal of spreading joy. If this recognition draws some attention to the very real needs of people in our community, it will bring me some joy.”

*Contact Eileen Ricker for a high-resolution copy of this photo.