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Erica Galindo
Celebrating Food, Faith and Family
Last edited on: December 19, 2016.

For thousands of children who otherwise might not have gifts at Christmas, Box of Joy has worked hard to change that.

A record-setting number of Boxes of Joy this year will spread Christmas smiles to more than 35,000 of the most impoverished kids in our hemisphere.

Last year’s Box of Joy campaign—an outreach of Cross Catholic Outreach—sent gift-filled treasures to 11,500 children in the Caribbean and Central America. The 2016 goal of 20,000 kids pales next to this year’s figures actually tripling last year.

“For too many children, Christmas is just another day of want—no gifts,” Cross Catholic Outreach President Jim Cavnar said. “But from generous people across the country, 35,000 children will know that someone cares.”

Nationwide, Box of Joy is the love in action of parishes, churches, schools, and groups. Participants pack a shoebox with gifts such as small toys, bar soap, pencils, a toothbrush, toothpaste, hard candy, crayons, coloring books or T-shirts–and a $9 check to cover shipment and support local charities. In November, all boxes go to drop-off centers across the country. Folks who miss Box of Joy Week have mail-in and online options at Cross Catholic’s site

In 2014, Cross Catholic Outreach piloted the Box of Joy program in just two dioceses. In 2015, that number jumped to 12–including 156 parishes, Catholic schools and other groups. This year, 314 schools, churches and groups participated–sending tangible love to children in Haiti, the Dominican Republic and Guatemala.

“It’s humbling and encouraging to see so many people give time and resources to send Christmas to a child with nothing,” Steve Bostian, Box of Joy director, said. “Is there a better way to celebrate Jesus’ birth than by giving to people in great need?”



To learn more, visit Cross Catholic

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