In her role as director of diversity and inclusion, you’ll catch Joi looking to extend help and smiles to fellow employees across the country, embodying the company’s purpose-driven mission. Outside of work, that same kindness shines. For Joi, her dedication to serve is simply part of her family’s legacy.
Like her mother and aunts, Joi is a proud alumna of her sorority, which is rooted in service. Together, the family found ways to lend a helping hand to others, which makes it no surprise that Joi created a community service initiative of her own. Her “Keep it Cute” shelf, which is named after an aunt’s favorite phrase, is devoted to giving access to feminine hygiene products to middle and high school students in need.
“It seems trivial, but one in four girls miss school because of not having feminine care products,” says Joi. “I want young girls to be comfortable to speak about it and say, ‘I need this.’”
Joi independently set up “Keep it Cute” shelves at local schools near Dollar General’s distribution center in Indianola, Mississippi. They are repositories of feminine hygiene and other basic clothing products where students can privately access what they need at no cost. Dollar General has also supported her efforts with product and financial donations through employee recognition programs, as well as donation drives to recognize Women’s History Month.
One school that is seeing a particularly positive impact is Thomas Edwards High School in Indianola. Former Assistant Principal Deberah Collins is grateful Joi’s efforts led to more open conversations with female students so they can feel confident in talking about their personal hygiene needs, a subject that can often be considered taboo. Now as principal of Merritt Middle School, Collins looks to expand Joi’s “Keep it Cute” shelf to positively impact more students in Sunflower County.
“With Dollar General’s focus being Serving Others, it just really stuck with me because that’s all I do, that’s all I know. It’s been great to have Dollar General as a partner in that way, to not only come to work every day and work for a great company, but they also support my personal initiatives” says Joi.
- Kelly Aiglon Author