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Archdiocese participating in ‘Box of Joy’ program

By The Catholic Week
MOBILE — The Archdiocese of Mobile will once again participate in Cross Catholic Outreach’s “Box of Joy” and there’s still time for parishes and schools to designate a coordinator and sign up.
“Box of Joy” aims to give Christmas gifts to children in Guatemala, Haiti, Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic. Participating groups within the archdiocese are asked
to sign up by Sept. 30 at http://www.crosscatholic.org/boxofjoyparishes and set a goal of how many boxes to order.
The shoebox-sized boxes should arrive in October and parishioners can then fill them with simple Christmas gifts or necessities. Filled boxes and a check for $9 to cover shipping/missionary work are then returned to the participating parish/school/diocesan office in late October/early November. The participating parish then delivers the boxes to one of six dropoff centers throughout the archdiocese between Nov. 3-11.
“Box of Joy” began with a pilot year in 2014 and the Archdiocese of Mobile participated for the first time in 2015. In 2015 and again in 2016, the generous people of the archdiocese served more than 4,000 children — the most of any diocese. In 2017, we reached almost 5000 children, again the most of any diocese in the U.S.
In 2016, Cross Catholic Outreach offered select media outlets an opportunity to see “Boxes of Joy” being delivered to children in Haiti.
“It was incredibly emotional to see the power that the gifts had on the children,” said “The Catholic Week” Editor Rob Herbst, who was part of the media contingent that followed Cross Catholic Outreach in Haiti in 2017.
“What may seem like minor novelties to us were so important to the children who received the gifts. Many of them had beaming smiles upon receiving the gifts and that’s an image that will last forever in my memory.”
Those across the U.S., donated 46,360 “Boxes of Joy” last year.
“ ‘Box of Joy’ is a wonderful project for any parish or school in the archdiocese,” said Janet Masline, associate director for the archdiocese’s Office for Evangelization and Family Life. “The program not only brings joy to children who wouldn’t otherwise get a gift, it impacts the children’s communities with our monetary donations and it brings joy to all of us in the archdiocese as givers. Not too many other projects can claim all of that!”
— For more information on “Box of Joy,” contact Janet Masline at jmasline@mobarch.org or visit www.CrossCatholic.org/BoxofJoy

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