For the second year, women of the Council of Catholic Women of the Northwestern Deanery collected materials to create Boxes of Joy. This year, according to Sheri Streasick, the project leader, women created 989 boxes, just short by 11 of their goal of 1,000 boxes.
Streasick said this year 786 of the boxes came from the Northwestern Deanery. Each ACC designated a Box of Joy leader. Volunteers from all seven ACCs helped at the drop-off center at Seven Dolors church hall in Millerville on Nov. 8-11.
“We filled 55 full cartons with 18 boxes in each, plus a small carton with two boxes. A semi-truck will pick up our cartons, which weigh a total of approximately 3,600 pounds,” Streasick said.
A Box of Joy is the size of a shoebox, packed with toys, clothing, school supplies and hygiene items and marked with the age category and gender of the recipient. An initiative of Cross Catholic Outreach in Boca Raton, Florida, boxes are organized in Florida and shipped to areas of need around the world. For more information about Box of Joy, visit crosscatholic.org.
Next year, Streasick said the group plans to request Spanish literature for areas in the diocese with large Hispanic communities and to seek a Spanish-speaking representative to help. They hope to assemble the boxes in advance, with a list of gift ideas and donation envelope in each box.
“A project like Box of Joy takes more than a village — it takes cities,” Streasick said.
Pictured above: A box filled with items for a child is pictured in this April 27, 2023, photo. The “Box of Joy” is an initiative supported by Cross Catholic Outreach, a Florida-based Catholic relief and development organization, The organization, founded in 2001, has also been assisting with Pope Francis’ aid efforts for Ukraine. (CNS photo/Justin McLellan)