Tribute to PCA Lake County President-Joy Heminger


Steven Covey, famous author, and educator, wrote a number of books dealing with how to successfully prioritize, navigate, and live a life of significance. One of his most famous books, 7 Habits for Highly Effective People, identifies habit number two as “Begin with the End in Mind.”  This translates into envisioning a positive end to a plan, whether a short-term project or a long-term life goal, and proceeding in such a way as to ensure the successful outcome of that plan. It is common for people to judge themselves more harshly than others, which is why sincere feedback and evaluation from those closest to us may be the most accurate way to determine the value or impact of our work/life.

The following tribute to Joy Heminger, child abuse prevention champion, exemplifies what many would consider a life well lived.

Joy Ryleen (Brown) Heminger 11-5-1939 to 12-27-2023 (Age 84)

Joy’s career took her from La Porte County, Indiana to Chicago, Illinois where she was employed by the National Committee for The Prevention of Child Abuse. Now known as Prevent Child Abuse America.

She served as Director of Communications for many years. Under Mr. Buddy Allen, responsible for International Conferences, she represented the organization in her position and attended conferences worldwide for The International Society for The Prevention of Child Abuse. During her tenure she also traveled to cities across the United States lecturing and attending seminars to help educate people on the importance of stopping the abuse of children.

She worked very closely with the singer Michael Bolton and his non-profit organization, The Micheal Bolton Foundation. She worked in his studio in Connecticut directing spots for Television commercials for Child Abuse Prevention of which Micheal was a big supporter.

In New York Joy worked very closely with The Ad Counsel Public Relations firm that placed nationwide ads on preventing Child Abuse. In the early days of her career Joy had the privilege of working with Oprah Winfrey on promoting the prevention of child abuse on her show and in the neighborhoods of cities across the country.

On one of her speaking tours she was invited to the White House, in Washington, DC to meet with the First Lady, Hillary Clinton. After her speaking engagement Mrs. Clinton and Joy took photos together and then toured the White House.

She was highly respected by her colleagues and brought to the table a vast knowledge and understanding of child abuse prevention. She was a warrior when it came to working for children’s rights. The right to have a normal and decent life just as God intended. The executive Director of NCPCA, Ms. Ann Cohn Donnelly, said of Joy, “Joy always was for me a source of joy and possibility. She had a captive smile, a good heart, a love of her family and an active imagination, usually on point, of the ways to educate the public about child abuse.”

Joy was also director of communications for St. Jude House, a domestic violence organization located in Crown Point, Indiana, where she worked for several years. In recent years she was President of Prevent   Child Abuse Lake County. She recently retired from the board. She was known all over Lake County for her lectures at Public Schools, Police Stations, Firehouses, Post Offices, Private Schools and wherever there was a concern with the abuse of a child.

Joy was born in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, November 5, 1939

She moved to Michiana Shores, Michigan and then to Michigan City, Indiana

When she was employed at St. Jude House in Crown Point, Indiana she moved to Crown Point.

This article was graciously shared by Joy’s husband, Jack, with his permission to include it as part of this month’s Council Courier. In addition, Joy’s contribution to the field of child abuse prevention and her work in Lake County, Indiana, was publicly acknowledged during the Thirty-Fourth annual IUN Forum on Child Abuse & Neglect, which took place on April 19, 2024. The “Cherish the Children” award was dedicated to Joy and accepted by her husband, Jack, and their children at the closing plenary session of this wonderful event. The world is a richer and safer place for children because of Joy’s tireless work in child abuse prevention. Thank you, Joy, for laying a solid foundation for the field of child abuse and neglect prevention to build upon in Indiana and beyond.