DARIEN, Conn. — Lisa Joyce, the 2011 YWCA Woman of Distinction in Darien, dedicates her time and energy to building relationships in the community to create a better world for those who need it the most.
Joyce lives in Darien with her husband, Tom, two daughters and a son. She had been a member of the Community Fund’s Allocation Executive Committee for five years.
During that time, the 28-year Darien resident said the seven-member committee worked with 30 local agencies to determine the most important needs in the community and to designate funds where they would do the most good.
Joyce joined with committee member Lisa Stout to start the Youth Community Fund, which annually allocates $5,000 to local high schools for students to donate to charities. The program gives students the opportunity to explore nonprofit agencies and choose which programs to support.
In that program, children have a chance to visit the agencies and see what is happening in the community, she said.
“It is a real revelation for the kids to see people with far less than what they have,” she said. “It is a great way for them to learn the lesson of giving.”
The program is a work in progress and will grow in the future, Joyce said.
In addition to her work on the Community Fund, Joyce served on the Parents Association at the Convent of Sacred Heart High School in Greenwich, which her children attended.
Most recently, Joyce left the Community Fund to work with the Darien Community Association. The nonprofit organization owns a home on 8 acres in town that provides educational and cultural programs.
The foundation provides $50,000 a year in scholarships to high school students for college, sponsors classes in French, Spanish and Russian literature and foreign language for children, she said, and even offers bridge, canasta and Mah Jong, along with musical performances and bus trips to Broadway in New York City.
“I do things because I enjoy being a part of organizations that do good for other people,” she said.
For more information about the Darien Community Association, visit its website.