12 Who Care: Joy Curtis

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DURANT, OKLAHOMA -- A Durant woman goes above and beyond for intellectually challenged residents in Bryan County.

To an outsider looking in, the Good Deal Thrift Store looks like an average resale shop with everything from clothes to gently used furniture.
But behind these four walls is the story of five people who turned their passion for the intellectually challenged into a purpose.

"We are on a mission, we are serving the intellectually challenged of Durant and Bryan County," said Joy Curtis, co-founder.

A little over a year ago, Joy, Steve Remshardt, Donna Hicks, Patty Shackleford, and Janie Kilpatrick created Bridging the Gap Together, Inc.
It's a non-profit that creates jobs for people with intellectual disabilities helping them find housing and keeping them involved in Special Olympics, all in an effort to create a sense of independence and belonging.
And for Joy the organization's mission hits close to home.

"As a mother of a special needs child I know that they do have needs and I was concerned about what's going to happen to my daughter," said Curtis.

Joy's daughter Julie doesn't let her disabilities stop her, day in and day out she works hours to keep the store in order.
From organizing toys to putting up clothes, she gives her all to help people who were once customers, but because of her welcoming spirit, have now become friends.

"I love it, I really love it, their very friendly very sweet and very nice, I try to help people out," said Julie Curtis.

Peggy Clark has known Joy and her family for nearly 20 years and for that entire time she's watched Joy go out of her way to help others and she's always wearing a smile.

"She's just been a joy to be around, she always has been, I don't ever remember her being angry," said Clark.

That's why she thought it was time to say thanks to a woman who has went above and beyond to help people not only in Bryan County but around the country.

"Joy I've nominated you for 12 who care, it's a program at channel 12," said Clark.

"What we're trying to do is bring the world of the intellectually challenged closer to mainstream society, we all have a disability in one way or another and we can bring and we can take," said Joy Curtis.

And that's why Joy Curtis is one of our 12 who care.

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