Mission: To reawaken the life-giving power of joy, through laughter and play.
Vision: “To uplift each other, our families, our communities and our world through the experience of choosing joy.”
The Giggle Box Project was conceived in 2009 by our founder and consulting director, Susan Dempsey and we are continually expanding it's reach in service to more. We have come a long way since it's inception. We purchased and painted "Giggles" the Giggle Bus in September of 2010 and we've been rolling ever since. Hah! Watch the Movie! We've been taking part in many community-wide events, sharing our mission and spreading joy and smiles.
Our first few years were primarily devoted to research and development.There has been an incredible amount of time spent behind the scenes, developing policies and engaging a Board of Directors inspired by our mission, as well as researching toys, boxes, hospital policies, making connections and fulfilling state and federal requirements for non-profits and of course, fundraising.
Are roots began with assistance from the Laughter Arts and Science Foundation and the World Laughter Tour , with Susan's inspiration for the project coming from her required reading to become a Certified Laughter Leader through the World Laughter Tour. She found it incredible with all of the science determining the healing value of laughter and a positive outlook that these tools were not already "Standard Operating Procedure" for every patient!
We became an agency partner of the Community Foundation of the Ozarks in 2011, filed for our own tax-exempt status in April of 2013 and received their approval in 2014 with retroactive tax-exempt status to 2011. Yeah!!!
In 2013 we delivered our first Gigglebox and since have be able to continue to do so for the children at Mercy Children’s Hospital, Cox South and most recently OHC and Child Advocacy Center in Springfield, MO, our home. Our plans include expanding the Giggleboxes we are able to donate throughout Missouri and then on to our neighboring states regionally and eventually nationally. We are also developing other programs concurrently for seniors, other at risk populations and our community, hoping to empower All to choose connection, joy and fun over anger, resentment, worry and sorrow. They are both contagious perspectives!
We are continually creating a cohesive team, eager to develop new relationships all the time with like-minded individuals who understand the value of our mission and are inspired to jump on the Giggle Bus! We’d love to have your smiling face as part of our team. Bringing to joy others increases joy in your own life. It's a win/win! Please visit our 'Contact Us' page to get in touch.
Thanks for being you and keep Laughing! In Appreciation, Susan Dempsey
Hi, My name is Debby Steinhoff. I am a long time resident of the Springfield MO area and I absolutely love life in the Ozarks! My work background is everything from Inventory Control/Accounting to Direct Sales and Sales Management. My most current endeavor is Brand Partner with Nerium International, where I can pursue my passion of personal development and "Making People Better"! My true claim to fame however, are my 4 wonderful adult children and the blessings of my beautiful grandchildren. I have loved and supported the Gigglebox Project since it's start and I am now thrilled to be serving as board member. The mission of the project is a true inspiration for me. I am pleased to be allowed to bring my time and talents to this project and I Love the Fun and Laughter. To see the transformation of lives we touch through Joy is truly the contact we are all meant to experience as we journey through this life. Smiles and Laughter are the universal language of the world. It is my privilege to be a part of this project and help the expansion and growth throughout the community and the world, Lets Play!!
I have a BS in Business Education and a minor in mathematics and taught math to high school students. Bookkeeping for TLC Properties and tax preparation for H&R Block have been my most recent occupations. Don't let the serious side of business and numbers fool you though as I have acquired many other skills during my life time.
I was born and raised a country girl and can sew, cook, grow a garden and preserve food,as well as creative projects such as upholstery, embroidery, and crafts in general. These skills and talents have brought much pleasure to my life as well as to others. I have learned to be creative and think outside the box.
Sometimes in our lives we get stuck in our own Box-like thinking and being able to find a different perspective at those times has become an invaluable Joy to me.
The Giggle Box Project has allowed me to use this skill as well as my numbers. Our goal is to help others change to a more positive perspective and we strive to do that within the organization as well. I expect to continue learning, laughing and sharing new things on this adventure called Life.
Elissa K. Stewart was born into funny. Her parents were funny, her grandparents, most of her great aunts and uncles, hilarious. Anecdotal accounts have reported her birth happening at speeds of under twenty-five minutes and during the Bicentennial (a particularly comical time in history when Gerald Ford was president); also The Year of the Dragon, making her a classic Gemini with Leo Rising. Her mercurial birth and moon in Virgo makes her a boon at meetings, adding to them unsurpassed wit, expansive vision, and economy of time and resources. Her professional experiences have included public relations, journalism, events planning, grant research, ghost-writing for healing evangelists, improvisational comedy with animals, operating a forklift and hosting her own radio show. She believes that Gigglebox has a “tickle-down” effect that could very possibly heal the world. “We give people giggles in a box and invite them to open it,” she says, “It is our endeavor to awaken the giggle that brings creative joy into every part of that person’s experience."
"I love to Laugh." Pretty much sums it up. I dress up as Santa every year and sing Christmas carols to children and their families. I have taught Sunday school through song at Unity of Springfield for more than 10 years and it is my bliss. I have been studying Sufism for a few years and was recently initiated. I spend quite a bit of personal time finding new tunes for traditional prayers. One of my kids at church called me "Church Man " and one of my sons calls me "God man." I have participated in Native American ceremonies and bring the traditional songs to anyone who cares to listen. This spirit path has accompanied me for the last 25 years and I expect to retire into the cause.
I have worked as a gardener to make a living. I love to get paid to make the natural world more beautiful. Love working with Giggleboxes. Staying happy and helping people laugh is my idea of a good time. Looking forward to more fun activities in the near future.
Jessica Grace Hart is a Reiki Master/Teacher, Certified Life Coach and Certified Addiction Counselor. She creates pathways to healing through communication, creativity and new ways of thinking. Jessica brings passion and hope for all people; for animals and for the planet. She generously offers a sliding scale for her time and treasure. She has served The Giggle Box Project since it’s inception and has been a continual inspiration to each of us individually and the project.
Diane Strunk is the newest board member to the Gigglebox Project. Her administrative background will be a great asset in organizational responsibilities. Diane has a daughter and a son as well as three grandsons. She has lived in Pennsylvania and New Mexico. Having moved to the Springfield area in 2015, she now calls Missouri home. The community and the friendships that have developed are very meaningful.
Nursing Student Engagement