Saint John Paul II once said, “Catholic education aims not only to communicate facts but also to transmit a coherent, comprehensive vision of life, in the conviction that the truths contained in that vision liberate students in the most profound meaning of human freedom.”
What a joy it is when Catholic school students are given this comprehensive vision—a vision that inspires them to love and support their impoverished peers a world away.
Blessing Young Children in Need
It is important that young people in the U.S. learn about the challenging conditions families face in the developing countries of the world and gain a greater appreciation for the role our Church plays in addressing those extreme needs. In many parts of the world, families are suffering from malnourishment, thirst, lack of education and unsafe shelters, and those hardships have a dramatic impact on the lives of their young sons and daughters. For example, with so many worries weighing on the minds of parents, few children have any hope of receiving a gift at Christmas. Whatever resources a family has must be used for food, water and simple shelter.
Though the poor never forget to celebrate the coming of Christ, their festivities do not include the lavish gift-giving we are accustomed to here. That’s why Cross Catholic Outreach proudly partners with parishes and schools throughout the United States to ensure the children of struggling parents in developing countries receive a Box of Joy®.
Seven-year-old Jancent from the Dominican Republic was one of those children, and his story provides a powerful testimony to the importance of this wonderful, gift-giving opportunity.
Born without a leg, Jancent’s young life has been filled with tribulation. His first operation could not be completed because he got sick, leaving him with an ill-fitting prosthetic. Jancent had every reason to feel hopeless, yet his face lit up when he was called forward to receive his Box of Joy. With a wide smile, he hurried to the front of the room with hands outstretched and his spirits lifted high. The power the Box of Joy gift has to bless and encourage children is undeniable. It shows them they are valued as individuals, loved by God and cherished by his Church!
Encouraging School Families to Participate
When you encourage your students to participate in the Box of Joy ministry, you help extend the reach of our ministry partners. Your school families also benefit from an interactive and effective opportunity to transform lives and bless children in need. As boys and girls like Jancent take part in this joyful Christmas experience, they feel the love and provision of our Heavenly Father.
It is also very easy to get involved in this simple but effective ministry—and it provides students with an important and tangible experience of the works of mercy. Because children in developing countries have many needs, we encourage school families to engage with Box of Joy recipients by giving more than just toys. For example, you can send shoes, school supplies or even handwritten cards. All of these things demonstrate you care about the welfare and happiness of the child receiving your gift!
Getting Involved is Simple!
The deadline to sign your school up for Box of Joy is October 27! Set a goal and order boxes for the 2023 season. With your order, you will receive a project leader kit that includes easy instructions, a promo toolkit and gift ideas you can share with school families. Box of Joy gifts are to be dropped off with a $9 donation during the week of November 4-12, 2023.
Once the boxes arrive at Cross Catholic Outreach’s screening and shipping center, Team Joy volunteers add a rosary and The Story of Jesus to each Box of Joy. These volunteers often come from Catholic schools or clubs in South Florida and are themselves growing in their love for the poor through this work of mercy.
To date, faithful Catholic schools have played a key role in helping us send 512,855 Box of Joy gifts to children around the globe! However, there are still many children in developing countries who have not yet received a Box of Joy. Please sign up today and join us in this incredible mission of mercy too!
Box of Joy is a registered trademark of Cross Catholic Outreach.