Everyone's Going Through Something: Meet Women of the Year honoree Tina McIntosh

Everybody’s Going Via One thing: Meet Girls of the 12 months honoree Tina McIntosh

Tina McIntosh is one in every of USA TODAY’s Girls of the 12 months, a recognition of girls who’ve made a major influence of their communities and throughout the nation. This system was launched in 2022 as a follow-up to Girls of the Century, which celebrated the a centesimal anniversary of girls’s suffrage. Meet this 12 months’s honorees at atwomenoftheyear.usatoday.com.

Tina McIntosh is aware of what it is wish to face challenges.

Because the founder and CEO of Joys Home, an area nonprofit that gives day look after adults with life-changing diagnoses, McIntosh helps households navigate troublesome waters every day.

Joys Home is a group that empowers households to maintain their family members at dwelling whereas offering a secure and fulfilling place to spend their days. Actions vary from crafts to trivia and mind video games which might be at all times emotionally or intellectually stimulating.

There’s at all times a construction to what we do, McIntosh stated. However we get away from that very often, relying on who’s right here and what the moods are and what folks have been having fun with all their lives.

McIntosh based Joys Home on the age of 27 after quitting her job as an occasion planner to discovered the nonprofit. She was impressed by a day care middle she labored at in Muncie whereas a pupil at Ball State, and that spark stayed together with her as she navigated the method of constructing one thing new in Indianapolis.

Greater than 20 years later, the middle has two places, one in Broad Ripple and one on the south aspect close to the College of Indianapolis, and has helped many households maintain their family members secure and at dwelling. McIntosh is enthusiastic about what she has constructed at Joys Home and its success.

However her personal life was not with out struggles. McIntosh has led Pleasure’s Home by instances of controversy, together with a troublesome monetary interval. COVID-19 has been devastating for the middle as Pleasure’s Home has misplaced a lot of its guests to both isolation or sickness. In her private life, McIntosh and her husband have each had most cancers twice.

With a lot in her life, from operating a nonprofit to household life and friendship, McIntosh stated she’s felt the stress to steadiness all the pieces completely up to now. However that is merely not potential. So one of many ideas she makes use of to information her life is that this: embrace imbalance.

I’ve made it my private purpose to embrace the imbalance and hope that wherever I’m, I am actually nice at that second, she stated. After which once I’m executed with that, I can transfer on to the following one.

This interview has been edited for brevity and readability.

Tina McIntosh, President and CEO of Joys House, December 5, 2022.

Tina McIntosh, President and CEO of Joys Home, December 5, 2022.
Robert Scheer/IndyStar

What advice would you give your younger self?

The most effective issues I discovered early on was that I did not know all the pieces and I did not must know all the pieces. What I wanted to do was encompass myself with individuals who have been smarter than me, extra related to me, who would then elevate me and Joys Home within the course of.

When you think about all that you have accomplished, what is your proudest moment?

I attain two extremes. One is that we have been voted years in the past probably the most excellent grownup day care within the nation. It was a very huge second. And it was a good time for Joys Home as a result of although I am blessed to be the founder, I am not the rationale we’re right here. I used to be the seed of this concept, however it’s a lot older than me and has been round for 23 years.

After which I am going to the on a regular basis moments that I do not actually have as a lot as I used to, however the moments with a visitor who is likely to be having a very tough day and kneel down subsequent to them and be current and assist them really feel snug and secure and to know he’s in the best place.

What are some lessons that help you overcome adversity?

For me, when confronted with adversity, the very first thing is religion. I hope to be on my knees in prayer, not solely in exhausting instances, but additionally in good instances. And I’ve discovered I feel lots of it’s by my private expertise, lots of it from my work at Joys Home I’ve discovered that it’s a must to lean on different folks. We inform household caregivers that on a regular basis it’s a must to lean on your loved ones and your mates and your neighbors and the individuals who care about you and it’s a must to be particular about what you want.

Individuals wish to present up whenever you’re having a tough time. That is how we present love to one another by bringing meals, praying, being current with folks.

Tina McIntosh
Individuals wish to present up whenever you’re having a tough time. The best way we present love to one another is by bringing meals, praying, being current with folks.

How would you define courage?

My first response is that I’m clear and weak. I am unsure that is the perfect reply. However I do know for me it actually exhibits with the place I’m. One of many issues I actually discovered throughout one in every of my remedies was that my feelings have been like a pie, like items of pie. So I might be very offended. I might be afraid. I might be blissful. I might be a idiot. I may confuse any of the feelings. And what I discovered was that I might sit with folks and each time somebody noticed me they’d are available they usually have been unhappy.

That they had made that pie a bit of unhappiness. And I may at all times inform they have been unhappy as a result of they’d are available softly and tilt their head slightly to the aspect, and their tone would change of their voice. They have been very current with me. After which every time we left one another, broke up, they discovered a option to slip in, I really like you. Even when they’ve by no means stated the phrases earlier than, they’d discover a option to convey it into the dialog. It was stunning to see, however what I shortly realized is that I did not have to fulfill them the place they have been. As a result of if I sat with another person’s unhappiness on a regular basis, I might be unhappy more often than not and I wasn’t. And simply because I used to be laughing and in a contented place did not imply I used to be in denial. It simply meant I wasn’t unhappy in that second I used to be sharing with them.

Tina McIntosh is USA TODAY’s Indiana Girls of the 12 months honoree

Tina McIntosh opened Pleasure’s Home to assist households look after family members dealing with life-changing well being points by day care packages.

Robert Scheer, Indianapolis Star

Who have you paved the way for?

There’s this humble a part of me that is like no, however sure. I take a look at my colleagues over time and know that I’ve been blessed to be part of their skilled and private lives and assist them achieve data and connections and get a leg up.

Nevertheless, I take a look at our households that we serve our friends who’re our clients and our household caregivers. After we take into consideration paving the best way, I feel we frequently take into consideration the enterprise aspect of issues, however I do know that what we have achieved and what I have been in a position to be part of for 23 years is paving the best way for folks to maintain their family members at dwelling .

Mothers and dads and husbands and companions and youngsters residing with some sort of life-changing (analysis), we have managed to maintain them of their houses with the folks they love most sleeping of their beds, consuming at their eating room tables hopefully till the day they managed to get by. Which is a troublesome day for these of us left behind, nevertheless it’s actually the purpose of what we’re doing right here.

Do you have a principle or mantra that guides you?

I feel it is rather necessary to depart each state of affairs with grace. Have I at all times executed this? No. Do I be ok with these instances once I did not go away a state of affairs gracefully? I do not, however I’ve by no means regretted leaving knowledgeable or private state of affairs gracefully, and this is my take a look at.

If you happen to can go to the grocery retailer and run into the particular person you had a second with and you may actually within the bread aisle, meet them head to head and say, “How are you?” And “I hope you’re properly.” And in case you can imply it whenever you say it, you have gracefully left the state of affairs. If you happen to lose your buying cart and run for the automobile, you most likely may have executed a greater job.

Tina McIntosh, President and CEO of Joys House, October 22, 2022.

Tina McIntosh, President and CEO of Joys Home, October 22, 2022.
Robert Scheer/IndyStar

How can people be kinder?

It is such a easy reply. If we’d simply cease and possibly look and acknowledge that the particular person in entrance of us is both on a display immediately or in print, or really in three dimensions, in particular person, if we’d simply acknowledge that everybody goes by one thing.

I’ve at all times informed my youngsters to understand the idea of a scar and that all of us have one. And whether or not it is my breast most cancers scars, or my husband’s kidney most cancers scar, or whether or not it is a scar you bought whenever you have been 10 and fell out of a tree home, or it is the scars you carry inside. However recognize that all of us undergo one thing. We simply do not all put on it on our face.

That is linked to the folks we serve right here at Joys Home who’re often aged. It isn’t solely the previous man that we see earlier than us. It is not simply the grumpy previous man who lives subsequent door or all of the wrinkles we see on a face. It’s a collage of each second of their lives. And I feel if we simply slowed down and did not simply take a look at them and did not simply ask questions however actually hearken to their solutions, we’d have extra empathy and love and persistence for the issues that make us completely different and the issues that bind us collectively.

IndyStar visible reporter Bob Scheer contributed to this report.

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