A Guatemalan boy wearing a yellow T-shirt smiles for the camera.
Anverso Tzalam, 8, lives in rural Guatemala. Your kids can help children just like him in developing nations this Christmas.

Activity for Kids: Christmas and Advent Coin Collection Box

Last year, U.S. Catholics took action to provide safer homes for families like Cristina Yanes’ in rural Guatemala. Cristina and her two children, Mariela and Marcos, had been living in a makeshift shelter with stick walls, a thatched roof and a dirt floor. They did not even have a solid front door to latch, so Cristina always feared that someone might break in at night.

Cristina prayed she would someday be able to raise her children in peace and safety — and in December 2022, that prayer was answered by faithful friends like you. Catholics gave generously to provide Cristina with the best Christmas present she has ever received: A secure concrete home with a door and windows that lock!

“We sleep well. We are safe,” Cristina said. “First and foremost, I thank God and also all the donors. May God bless you all abundantly.”

A smiling woman holds her son and daughter close outside a concrete-block house.
By the end of December 2022, Cristina, Mariela and Marcos were able to move into their new home.

How Kids Can Help Others at Christmas

Cristina’s newfound joy and relief are apparent to all who know her — and that is a blessed gift we hope to share with many more struggling families around the world. The fact is that roughly two-thirds of Guatemala’s population lives on less than $2 a day (World Food Programme), and statistics are similarly alarming in other developing nations such as Nicaragua and Haiti. Many families in these countries cannot afford the things they need, including housing, water and sufficient food.

As Catholics, we are called to share in the Corporal Works of Mercy, such as sheltering the homeless. We are also called to teach those Works of Mercy to our children, who are the next generation of the Church. As you journey through this special season, we encourage you to consider how your kids can help others this Christmas.

Use the fun activity below to help them get excited about Catholic charity and blessing those in need!

Christmas Activity for Kids

To get kids thinking about charity this Christmas, start by setting a goal. Pick something they can get excited about, such as providing needy families with a safe home or clean water. Kids love helping kids, so consider telling them about the challenges children in developing countries face. Sharing Cristina’s story can help you express that need in a deeply personal way.

Next, help the children make a fun collection box or cup. You can do this by decorating an empty tissue box, shoebox or other container with wrapping paper or follow the instructions below to make an origami collection cup. Throughout the Christmas season, add spare change to the box or cup. You can even brainstorm fun games and challenges, rewarding the children with money toward their collection (e.g., every time they finish a household chore or their homework, add $1 to the box).

A visual showing the different steps for folding a paper cup.

Craft Instructions: Make an Advent Coin Collection Cup

  1. Take a large, square piece of paper and turn it so that it looks like a diamond.
  2. Fold the diamond in half to form a triangle.
  3. With the long edge down, fold the left corner diagonally across the center so that the tip meets the right edge of the triangle.
  4. Repeat step three for the right corner, folding it diagonally across the center so that the tip meets the left edge of the triangle. It should overlap the side you folded in step three.
  5. Fold the front-top corner down toward you.
  6. Fold the rear-top corner backward away from you. Use your fingers to widen the opening at the top and complete your cup. Decorate the outside to represent the giving goal that you have set.
A boy inside a dirt-floor home stands behind a colorful hammock and smiles.
Bless a child with safe housing, nutritious food or another meaningful Christmas gift of your choice.

End Goal: Kids Helping Kids (and Families!) for Christmas

God bless you for teaching your children how to help others at Christmas! We believe the time and effort you invest in this valuable activity will produce many blessings in your children’s lives. As your kids work to help families and other children just like them, we pray they will experience the love and mercy of Christ in a personal and unforgettable way.

To help set a goal for your giving, we ask you to please browse our Christmas Catalog. It contains items to suit any budget and offers many wonderful options for blessing children and families in need.

Thank you for sharing Christ’s hope this Christmas!

Bless Lives This Christmas

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Proceeds from this campaign will be used to cover any expenditures incurred through June 30, 2024, the close of our ministry’s fiscal year. In the event that more funds are raised than needed to fully fund the project, the excess funds, if any, will be used to meet the most urgent needs of the ministry.