Shalini Samtani and her daughter Aria are on a mission: to make the world kinder through play.
The worst of times can sometimes be a blessing, a sign from the universe that points you in the right directions and helps you find meaning. For Shalini Samtani and daughter Aria, this trying time came when Aria was diagnosed with a rare disease for which there is no known cure.
During the months spent together at the hospital, following Aria’s diagnosis, Shalini quickly realized that there wasn’t a single toy company focused on the emotional well-being of children, and that schools weren’t teaching EQ as a part of their curriculum either. She then resolved to transform the experience of pediatric hospitalization and “sick time” into a more positive one for families.
After months of working alongside pediatric psychologists, Open the Joy was born with the mission of providing families with the tools required to deal with times of crisis with positivity and creativity. This toy company manufactures unique and specialized arts and crafts activity kits with a focus on building emotional intelligence (EQ) in kids is, now more than ever, with COVID making in-person connections increasingly difficult and perpetuating the problem of the overuse of screen time, very important.
The company has grown significantly since those trying times and is getting its own fairy tale beginning this summer as it launches in Target! But despite Open the Joy’s growth, they have never forgotten where they came from. Through their sister non-profit (Spread the Joy) they donate activity kits specifically for hospitalized children in need to their bedside. Amazingly, within just three years, they’ve donated over 10,000 boxes!
Open the Joy’s empathetic mission and selfless give back program has earned them partnerships with the American Heart Association, Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh and singer and Tik Tok sensation, Sheena Melwani too! If you’d love to be part of their rise to kindness, check out Open the Joy’s website, https://www.openthejoy.com/.