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 has been a native of Cary, NC since 1961.  She enjoys all types of sports including golf and snow skiing.  Her professional career included 7 years with NC Vocational Rehabilitation, 15 years with Carolina Power & Light Company and almost 20 years as a general brokerage real estate agent until early retirement in 2012. 

“I became involved with House of Joy in 2011 and helped install our first water purification system in February 2012 at Faith Christian University, Moun Rouge, Haiti.  I consider myself a “worker bee” and I truly enjoy physical labor.  My husband, Jeff, and I have been married 32 years and we enjoy time spent with our son Dave, his wife Laurie, and our grandson David who live nearby.”

Cathy Jeffries

 Operations Manager

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