About Us

Hi, I’m Leica, the founder of Contagious Joy. One year, as summer was getting close when my children were young, I envisioned what their summer would be like if they were watching a lot of TV. I thought of those in care facilities, how they would enjoy a visit, and how they would love to hear children sing and perform a play. The more I thought about it, the more God confirmed this as I read His word. “So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” John 13:34-35 NLT. At first my children were not enthusiastic about the idea of performing a play in care facilities. I decided to ask some family and neighbors to join us – then they started to become more interested. In August 1995, these plays were performed in several care homes throughout our community. Afterwards they began to see how really giving of themselves brought more joy than they anticipated.

God inspired the writing of the play “Esther.” This play was taken from the story of Esther in the Bible. It was re-written however in the time of the 50s with songs that the residents would remember and enjoy. The theme of this play was that everything works out for the good of those who trust, believe, and obey God.  In 1997, “Esther” was performed in many care facilities throughout the community. We began to call our group “Youth Theater for Nursing Homes.” My children grew and went off to college, however, each year the children from the neighborhood were asking to do the play again, so this became a tradition in the summer.

It appeared that chapter was over, and I moved on in my career. However, I could not forget the joy that was experienced by the children and the seniors.

While still engaged in my career I was searching for opportunities to give. I remembered the challenging years as a child growing up with my father in prison. In September 2007, I found Angel Tree. With the help of friends and family we served 15 children that holiday season.

The summer came, and I thought how wonderful it would have been to have had such a program when I was young. So, I decided to offer “Youth Theater for Nursing Homes” to the Angel Tree children! One child from Angel Tree was interested. In July of 2008, she played the part of Esther, and a few children from our church played the other cast members. It happened just as it did before, those children who were in the play wanted to do it again next year. We performed several plays for several Nursing homes in July 2009; and in the following years.

As I watched the children light up as they spread joy to the care facility residents, it became clear to me that “Youth Theater for Nursing Homes” would instead be called, “Contagious Joy.” October 4, 2010, Contagious Joy became a non-profit organization. Then we received our tax exempt status under section 501 (c) of the Internal Revenue Code. Therefore, contributions made are deductible.

Contagious Joy serves children of all ages and seniors. We have found throughout the years (performing plays in care facilities) that God does amazing things when these two generations come together in His name. This may sound a bit simplistic, but all it takes is to “show up” and God does the rest. He provides the connection, healing from emotional wounds and unforgiveness, the freedom in being forgiven, and much more than words can say. Come experience the kind of “Joy” that Jesus makes “Contagious.”

Equipping young leaders with the Word of truth to bring the joy of Jesus through plays, skits and songs.