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Meet the Staff

Carol was born in Raleigh, NC and lived there until age 6 when she then was placed in a children’s home to live for the next 12 years.  Carol credits this experience of growing up with so many brothers and sisters, where everyone was the same and each carried his own load of work and play, as being a foundation stone for understanding the power of community.  “This was my home; there was no other place to go which enabled me to accept and be thankful for this unique and generous expression of the love and care of God over all my life.” Carol graduated from Campbell University with a B.S. in Early Childhood Development and taught first grade for five years.  Carol and Buddy, her husband of 46 years,  founded House of Joy in 2000.  They have 3 children: Joy and her husband Jason,  Sarah and her husband Phil, and Joshua and his wife Heather. They also have 4 grandchildren; Glory, Sophie, Scarlett and Andy.

Carol L. Ellis

 Founder/ Executive Director

Cathy Jeffries
 Operations Manager
Interim Board Member 2021

Cathy is a NC native and has lived in Cary since 1961.  She enjoys all types of activities including travel, golf, snow skiing and spending time at the beach. Throughout her professional career, she developed a strong foundation in the area of administration, with the last 20 years spent as a Realtor serving the Wake County
area. In that capacity, she enjoyed the numerous administrative details involved in each transaction as much as serving the needs of her clients and customers. Cathy became involved with House of Joy in 2011 with a passion to assist impoverished areas to gain access to clean water. She helped install the first water purification
system at Faith Christian University, Moun Rouge, Haiti in February 2012.  Having been raised in a large family with many daily chores to complete before play, she developed a strong work ethic at a very young age.  She considers herself a “worker bee” who truly enjoys physical labor and is grateful to be able to serve others in this way. Cathy and her husband, Jeff, have been married 35 years and enjoy time spent
with their son Dave, his wife Laurie, and their grandson David who live nearby.”


Joy was born and raised in Raleigh, NC, where she graduated from NC State University with a degree in   Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management and a concentration in Program Management. She has always had a heart for connecting with people which deepened during her work throughout college and beyond with varied children and teen programs. As a founding member, Joy sees the vision of House of Joy as being a directing force in the plans laid out for her life. Joy is the farm manager of Pilot Farm and it is there where the purpose and call on her life is realized. She is married to Jason Harris, a third generation farmer, and they live on his family farm in Kittrell, NC

Joy Harris
 Program Coordinator/
Farm Manager
Interim Board Member 2021

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