The Joy Fund has been a storied fixture in the South Hampton Roads area for decades. As a charitable part of The Virginian-Pilot, it was formed in 1934 by Tom Hanes an editor of the newspaper’s afternoon edition, The Ledger Star. The Fund’s mission was to make sure every child from a low-income family had a toy at Christmas. Donations from the community served to complete the mission.
Likewise, the Holiday Fund, established in 1929 by the Daily Press, collected donations from local Peninsula businesses and individuals and distributed the funds to local non-profits for use during the holidays.
In 2018, both newspapers became part of Tribune Publishing and a year later the operations of both holiday campaigns were consolidated under The Joy Fund Foundation. The expanded mission provides holiday gifts and assistance during the holidays for families in need in South Hampton Roads, on the Peninsula, and in the Williamsburg area.
Distribution through local Toy Depots is handled by the Salvation Army, and each year up to 12,000 gifts are provided.