Shannon || Co-Chapter Leader
JoDee || Co-Chapter Leader
JoDee and Shannon met at the University of Wisconsin - Stout in 2009 and have been best friends ever since! In college, they bonded over their love of visual merchandising, coconut mochas, Oxford commas, and their sorority’s philanthropy, Sigma Serves Children.
JoDee recently moved to Oklahoma City to be closer to her husband, TJ’s, large family. TJ and JoDee adopted their two wonderful children from foster care and are excited to get them involved in BoB as kid ambassadors! JoDee works full time as a Buyer at Hobby Lobby and runs a successful essential oils business with her husband as a side hustle. When she isn’t at work or playing with her kids, you can find JoDee reading, getting involved in her church, or catching a local baseball game with her husband. Her favorite birthday memory was when her parents threw her a Wizard of Oz themed party, complete with a scavenger hunt for a brain, a heart, bravery AND a rainbow cake!
Shannon moved to Dallas five years ago for a career with JCPenney, and is proud to say she is still a Packers fan. She works full time as a Senior Assistant Buyer and spends her free time working out, cooking Pinterest recipes, watching sports, checking out local breweries, volunteering in the community, and petting every rescue dog she sees. Her favorite birthday memory was when her parents invited Princess Belle to her birthday party and she gave her the enchanted mirror.
JoDee and Shannon live by the words - “To receive much, you must give much.” They started a chapter of Box of Balloons, because they feel every child deserves to be celebrated and cannot wait to empower families and caregivers across Dallas to do so!
April Ruen || Chapter Leader
Hello! My name is April Ruen. A lifelong Houstonian I live in Northwest Houston with my husband, two teenage children, and three rescue animals – two dogs and one cat. An alum of the University of Houston, I have worked in the energy industry as a corporate tax professional for over 15 years. Outside of the office my family and I are active members of Kinsmen Lutheran Church. I am an avid reader, event planner, crossword puzzle enthusiast, and animal lover.
The origin story of Box of Balloons deeply resonated with me, as I too have amazing memories of birthday parties growing up and have worked to create the same for my children. Unfortunately, I know for many children in our community this is not their experience. The opportunity to help share grace by creating a birthday party in a box holds great appeal. All children are worthy of celebration, and my wish is we are able to share hope and joy with these children and families, so they can experience a happy birthday and create lasting memories.
As the Houston Chapter of Box of Balloons begins this January 2020 we can look forward to great things over the next year!
Fort Worth, Texas
Sharon Crutcher || Chapter Leader
Sharon has lived in the Fort Worth area for over 21 years with her, now adult children, Kaitlyn and Cooper. She works for an animal diagnostics company and has been involved in animal welfare and advocacy for over 25 years. She is currently owned by 2 dogs, Ruger and Oliver and 4 horses, Possum, Secret, Kiowa and Luke.
Sharon volunteered with the Box of Balloons chapter during a trip to Lexington, KY. She was so inspired by the mission that she wanted to help children in her own community celebrate their special day. She is excited to get to work together with area volunteers and organizations.
Collin County, Texas
Katharine Merritt || Chapter Leader
My name is Katharine Merritt and I live in Frisco, TX. I’m a wife and mother of four kiddos - two boys and two girls. I’m a bit on the girlie side and run an interiors company. Most days, I can be seen sporting a dress with a tea in hand (Earl Grey is my favorite) bopping from one activity to the next.
Besides Christmas, my favorite holidays are birthdays. I truly love the mission of Box of Balloons and it brings me joy to help birthday wishes come true!