What Ellen's Greatest Night of Giveaways Did Not Mention About Non-Profit Co-Founders Jennifer Lazo & Keeli Simpson
The women behind one of Ellen's holiday show segments co-founded a non-profit which supports families impacted by cancer.
Atlanta, GA: On Wednesday night, America learned the story of Jennifer Lazo, a compassionate wife, mother and friend who in May 2019 passed away after a lengthy battle with cancer. Viewers also discovered Lazo’s friendship with Keeli Simpson.
What Americans are beginning to discover is Join The Flock, the Atlanta-based non-profit founded by these two women.
In the midst of her own cancer journey, Lazo found a way to help others. She teamed with Simpson, a former marketing executive at Coca-Cola, to gift mortgage payments to families impacted by cancer. The non-profit's goal is to temporarily relieve financial and emotional burdens, allowing families to get back to enjoying life and growing, one of the foundation’s of Lazo’s cancer journey.
Said Simpson: “She had a dream of turning real estate (“For Sale”) signs pink and giving a percentage of the closing money toward families impacted by cancer in lieu of a closing gift, which just further showed her heart. I had experience creating marketing campaigns, so I wrote a creative brief for her dream, found some partners and we got to work on the charity.”
On Ellen’s holiday show, actress and comedian Melissa McCarthy surprised Simpson in Atlanta, showing up at a real estate open house in a red El Camino full of holiday gifts. They drove to the Lazo residence to surprise Jennifer’s widow, Mario Lazo, and daughters Eden and Monica.
Simpson and the Lazo family then traveled to Los Angeles where Ellen’s bag of holiday surprises included a trip to Aspen and megastar Taylor Swift gifting the girls tickets and backstage passes to her “Lover Fest West” music festival.
The big surprise came later. Mario opened a box which showed the amount of the Lazo family mortgage: $300,000. Ellen tore up the paper and told Mario, “That’s paid for.”
Friends and supporters of Join The Flock watched the taped episode Wednesday night at Bogartz Food Arts in the Atlanta suburb of Sandy Springs.