JoyRun allows community members to request various items such as food, school supplies or over-the-counter medications to be delivered directly to them.

This past week has been focused on a new campus app that’s changing the way people connect with others around JMU. JoyRun is a person-to-person delivery service that allows students and the Harrisonburg community to interact by requesting and transporting any food, supply or necessity.

JoyRun is operated by JMU students and works by letting users see who wants what in their local area by allowing users to request any item they desire.

Gunter Greenhalgh is a campus leader for JoyRun who promotes the fact that there are no limits to what people can order.

“It doesn’t have to be just food,” Greenhalgh, a junior media arts and design major, said. “You can get dog food from Wal-Mart, cold medicine from CVS or a binder from Rite Aid.”

When someone from the community wants to request a run to receive food or supplies, a fellow student or local member will personally deliver the requested items to them.

It’s also used when someone wants to make a run themselves in order to make some extra money. There’s no application process or fee to join JoyRun, and anyone can become a runner.

To ease some skepticism about a random person delivering food, JoyRun includes a group chat accessory within the ordering process for the runner and receiver to communicate prior to their meeting. Runners are also given badges such as ‘On Time,’ ‘Supa Nice,’ and ‘Perfect’ to let users know the quality of the person delivering their food.      

Alexis Smedley is a student leader and marketer for JoyRun. She understands the app isn’t only traveling to other campuses around the country, but it’s also expanding throughout JMU.

“We have only touched a fraction of the population here at JMU,” Smedley, a freshman international affairs and finance double major, said. “We are currently trying to team up with other restaurants to get more business for them while also getting more business to us.”

Besides promoting other restaurants and local shops, JoyRun also has special deals for first-time users. Users get $5 off their first purchase by using the code ‘joyrun5’ through the app.

Haley Doherty, a junior hospitality management major, is a student leader for JoyRun and explains how users can make money quickly by promoting the app to friends.

“Each user has their own personal code where they can gain cash credit through the app,” Doherty said. “If your friends use that code instead of the ‘joyrun5,’ then you would get another $5 credit and they would get a $5 credit for using it.”

The app is powered by the user and helps transform individual runs into an opportunity to meet new people. Their motto, “Delivery. For friends, by friends” says it all.

Smedley understands the importance of building a community on campus and how the app can change the way students interact.

“The whole idea is giving back,” Smedley said. “The biggest benefit is trying to make those connections and show that students are here to help each other out.”

The app operates 24/7 and prices range from $0-$5 depending on the runner and how late the order was placed. The later the order is made, the higher the delivery fee. The delivery fee acts as a tip for the driver.

Since JMU requires all freshmen to live on campus, many people don't have a car to get where they need to go. JoyRun makes that easier.

“With the help of JoyRun, students are able to get whatever they need in a safe and convenient way,” Doherty said. “It's students helping other students with such a simple task that goes a long way.”

Contact Karey Gardner at

Karey Gardner is a senior writing, rhetoric, and technical communication major with a minor in creative writing. She plans to take the skills she has learned at JMU to New York in order to chase her dream of becoming a best-selling author.