Honoring our Joy
Updated: Mar 13, 2019
This summer one of our beloved volunteers, Joy Hedgepath, stepped down from her role on the Board of Directors. On behalf of the Board and the entire organization, Mary Brooks was asked to publicly thank Joy and recognize her dedicated service to White Pony Express.
Joy’s service to WPE began at or near the start of the organization when she was picking up food from the La Rosa market and delivering it her car to recipients. Later on she joined other early volunteers picking up food at Nob Hill in Walnut Creek, and then Sprouts and later Whole Foods in San Ramon.
in April 2014 when our founder, Dr. Carol Weyland Conner, called a small group of people to her home to serve as a steering committee and told them she wanted to start another program within WPE called White Pony Inn.
Its purpose was to offer various forms of support to people experiencing homelessness or in danger of becoming homeless. It was a pilot project with the idea of seeing if a small group of friends could engage individually with a person to help make a meaningful difference in their life.
Joy was a fierce advocate for people, and was their voice to the leadership of WPE. Many of us remember how she worked tirelessly to keep our hearts and minds focused on the personal aspects and critical needs of the people we serve. I remember so often her reminding me of being sure to offer space at Mobile Boutiques for the Contra Costa County 2-1-1 table, so that all who came to boutiques would have the critical information of where to get help from the county for themselves or their loved ones.
Joy was the first member of the WPE board to develop relationships with the Contra Costa Council on Homelessness. And she was the first to regularly attend their meetings and aid our partner agencies in providing assistance to homeless people, including Trinity Center, which she supported with time, attention, and funding.
When Joy heard that Cindy Gershen’s program at Mt. Diablo High School Culinary Institute’s “edu-catoring” program needed funds to send students to Tulane University in New Orleans, she stepped forward to fund the entire trip.
Joy Hedgepath greeting Billie Jean King at a WPE event
Joy provided leadership to WPE, and personally exemplified the principle of “all of us taking care of all of us” in the most personally committed way. Often using her own funds, she helped people with a wide range of urgent needs such as housing, transportation and food. This even included offering a part of her own living space as an interim housing for one of the WPI guests.
Dearest Joy, the Board of White Pony Express offers you our deepest gratitude for your leadership, and for showing us all how we might better serve our community.
Mary Brooks, for the WPE Board of Directors