Bay Area Holiday Angels: Joyce Hayes

The Examiner celebrates people who made a difference in 2007.

Occupation: Family outreach and community manager

Residence: Emeryville

What she does: Since 1976, Hayes has been the guiding force behind Glide Memorial Church’s children center. In the early 1970s, Hayes helped stage weekend theater and art shows for children that slowly grew to include part-time child care, eventually becoming a full-functioning community center for children. More than 200 children are currently enrolled.

Why she does it: The ascendancy of Glide’s children center unfortunately coincided with the crack-cocaine epidemic of the 1980s, which left many children in the Tenderloin abandoned or abused. “There is that one special person who needs care, who needs unconditional love. I just want to give them a chance to know that someone cares for them.”

The impact: Since the ’70s, Hayes has taken more than 70 foster children into her home. “When these children were abandoned, they literally had no one to look over them other than Joyce. She just approached it as, ‘If I don’t care for them, who will?’” Glide spokeswoman Denise Lamott said.

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