By ROB HERBST
The Catholic Week
MOBILE — The Archdiocese of Mobile is again participating in Cross Catholic Outreach’s “Box of Joy” program, which helps provide Christmas gifts to children in developing countries.
“Box of Joy” provides gifts to children in Guatemala, Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Along with sharing the joy of Christmas, the program plants seeds of hope through the Gospel.
The shoebox-sized boxes should be available at participating parishes this month and parishioners can then fill them with simple Christmas gifts or necessities. Participants can also use any shoebox approximately 12 inches-by-5 inches. 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 four dropoff centers throughout the archdiocese between Nov. 2-10.
“Box of Joy” began with a pilot year in 2014 and the Archdiocese of Mobile participated for the first time in 2015. Last year, the people of the Archdiocese of Mobile packed 4,518 boxes, the most of any diocese in the U.S. In all, 58,030 children were served.
Earlier this year, parishioners of Holy Name of Jesus Parish in Semmes traveled to Guatemala for a mission trip. During the trip parishioners delivered “Boxes of Joy” to children.
“Though it was in the middle of the summer, the gifts were received with a Christmas spirit. Many of the children were so happy to receive their boxes; and their joy was contagious,” said Holy Name of Jesus Pastor Fr. Pat Arensberg.
“Even the simplest of items brought a big smile to their faces.”
— For more information on “Box of Joy,” contact Janet Masline at email@example.com or visit www.CrossCatholic.org/BoxofJoy
By ROB HERBST