For over 10 years, Long Island radio station KJOY 98.3 has helped brighten the holiday season for scores of Long Islanders through its “Holiday Wish Program” that grants various requests from area listeners. But this year, a heartfelt plea from a 14-year-old Hempstead boy was the most emotionally inspiring - and heart-wrenching – request it has ever received.
Jha'Meik S., 14, reached-out KJOY 98.3 to have his wish considered during this year’s holiday promotion: help in finding a home for his mother and two sisters who live with him in a family shelter. Jha’Meik’s story to the station addressed unspeakable tragedy and hardship, as well as the endearing fact that he had set aside $200 from his allowance to help in the housing search.
"From his submission, we could tell that Jha'Meik was a special young man," said WKJY Program Director Jon Daniels. "He soon realized that housing on Long Island would cost more than $200, but we were touched by what he was trying to do at such a young age - and knew that we had to help. In reading his submission, there was not a dry eye in the room."
The radio station immediately reached out to Jovia Financial Credit Union, a long-time sponsor of KJOY’s “Holiday Wish Program,” to help the family with its living situation. Jovia quickly began thinking of ways to help the family.
Soon after submitting his request to KJOY 98.3, Jha’Meik’s family received news that they would be moving out of the shelter and into a nearby apartment. For their part, Jovia presented the family with $2,500 in gift cards to local merchants, and opened youth accounts for the three children with funds initially deposited by the credit union.
"This young man’s maturity, thoughtfulness and selflessness reveal his tremendous character. Undoubtedly the most touching story we’ve ever seen,” said Renu Dalessandro, chief marketing officer at Jovia Financial Credit Union. “This ended up being such a positive story in so many different ways, and we’re just so grateful to be given the opportunity to help brighten this family’s life.”
The family was invited to the KJOY 98.3 studios in Farmingdale under the pretext of receiving a tour that Jha’Meik had won. There, Jovia representatives presented Jha’Meik, his two sisters and their mother, Sheena, the gift cards, a housewarming basket of items, and news that youth accounts would be set up in the children’s names. Watch the video here!
Jovia's partnership with KJOY 98.3 and the Holiday Wish Program offers a unique opportunity to help improve the lives of Long Islanders in need during the holiday season.