Skip Navigation

To help people experiencing homelessness Central Pennsylvanian artists unite for Joy to the Burg

  • Aniya Faulcon
The Joy to the Burg Live! event at The Englewood in Hershey.

 Chris Rider Photography

The Joy to the Burg Live! event at The Englewood in Hershey.

Airdate: December 13, 2022

Listen to The Spark every weekday at 12 p.m. and 8 p.m. on WITF 89.5 & 93.3. You can also stream WITF radio live on our website or ask your smart speaker to “Play WITF Radio.”

Central Pennsylvania artists are back with an all-new collection of Christmas music for the 4th annual Joy to the Burg. This album project aims to help a portion of the over 14,000 people experiencing homelessness within the state.

Doug Wilburne, Chair of Joy to the Burg 2022, Steve Schwartz, Director of Development for Joy to the Burg, and Joe Trojcak, Organist featured in the Joy to the Burg 2022 album, joined us on The Spark Tuesday to tell us more about Joy to the Burg and how it aims to help the community.

Joy to the Burg started in 2019 when a man named Sheldon Jones gained a concern for people sleeping downtown around his church. He talked to some of artists and got the idea to create a Christmas album to sell and raise money for people facing homelessness.

“It really has grown over the years with more artists getting involved and excited about it,” Schwartz said. “It’s really become a great thing for the arts community as well and this year we were thrilled that the Central Pennsylvania Music Hall of Fame came on board as a partner, they really helped curate all the music and brought a lot of new artists in this year.”

Wilburne also said, we’ve seen an increase of people experiencing homelessness throughout the pandemic, partially because of the housing market challenges.

To help tackle this issue, Joy to the Burg donates to Harrisburg winter overnight shelters and this year, local artists designed greeting cards curated by Susquehanna Art Museum that are being sold to help those experiencing homelessness in the community.

Over the last couple of years Wilburne said, Joy to the Burg has helped over 400 people find temporary shelter and 75 of those people receive long-term housing.

This year’s Joy to the Burg album will include thirty three songs and artists, twenty four of the artists are participating in this project for the first time. They hope to raise over $50,000 this year; more than they’ve ever raised in one year but Wilburne said, he’s confident that they will receive the love, support and generosity that they received in previous years to help those experiencing homelessness.

For more information about Joy to the Burg visit

Support for WITF is provided by:

Become a WITF sponsor today »

Support for WITF is provided by:

Become a WITF sponsor today »

Up Next
The Spark

Power Pack Project feeds kids and their families on weekends