Box of Joy seeks to reach more children this Christmas season. Learn how your family or parish can help.
As the world recovers from the global pandemic, the international relief and development ministry Cross Catholic Outreach seeks to bring Christmas joy to poverty-stricken children through its Box of Joy program.
“Hundreds of parishes, schools, families and groups have come together this past seven years to send over 287,589 Boxes of Joy to children in developing countries,” said Jim Cavnar, president of Cross Catholic Outreach. Last year, in light of the worldwide pandemic, he continued, “We were immensely honored and humbled to serve these children and bring them small gifts of crayons, candy, rosaries, saint charms and tote bags that brought them a little joy during the Christmas season.”
In 2020, despite the pandemic, Cross Catholic Outreach collected and delivered gift-filled Boxes of Joy to 61,422 children in Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras, Grenada and Guatemala through the efforts of participating Catholic parishes, schools and groups across 47 states, utilizing hundreds of local drop-off centers. More than 720 U.S. organizations participated in Box of Joy, including 162 schools, 322 parishes and 239 religious or civic groups.
“With things gradually returning to normal, we hope to serve thousands more children in 2021. As before, groups and parishes can play a critical role in the outreach by hosting packing parties and get-togethers to teach children the joy of serving others and helping those less fortunate,” said Cavnar. “Box of Joy is a beautiful work of mercy for families to participate in together.”
Catholic parishes, schools and groups nationwide organize Boxes of Joy by packing the boxes with small gifts like toys and school supplies, and adding essentials, like soap, toothpaste and toothbrushes, as well as a few treats like hard candy and coloring books. Participants include $9 in each box to cover shipment from the local drop-off center to the child.
The 2021 Box of Joy outreach kicks off in September, and groups deliver gifts to their local drop-off centers during Box of Joy Week, Nov. 6-14. Any group that misses Box of Joy Week can ship their gifts to the National Screening Center in Miami. To learn more on how to engage students, parishioners or group members in reaching needy children through Box of Joy, please visit BoxofJoy.org.
Copyright 2021 Cross Catholic Outreach
Images courtesy of Cross Catholic Outreach, all rights reserved.
About Cross Catholic Outreach: This year, Cross Catholic Outreach celebrates 20 years of ministry to the poorest families and communities in the developing world. Since its founding in South Florida in 2001, this official Catholic nonprofit 501(c)(3) relief and development organization has provided over $3.3 billion in aid to help the poorest of the poor in more than 85 countries. Endorsed by over 150 U.S. Catholic bishops, archbishops and cardinals since its inception, Cross Catholic Outreach’s mission is to mobilize the global Catholic Church to transform the poor and their communities materially and spiritually for the glory of Jesus Christ. This is achieved by partnering with bishops, priests, religious and lay workers to provide food, water, housing, education, orphan support, medical care, microenterprise, agriculture, disaster relief and spiritual outreach — and the love of our Lord Jesus Christ — to developing countries around the world.
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