Box of Joy Resources

Get your group ready to participate in Box of Joy through these fun ideas.

Please feel free to use your own creative thoughts, or modify the ones below. We pray that God draws your community closer together as you reach out to bless children for his glory.

THE JOY METER

This idea gives you some room for creativity! Set a goal for how many children your group wants to help, and place a “Joy Meter” in a prominent place. Each time a box is brought in, fill your meter a little more. Your Joy Meter could be a thermometer drawn on a large piece of paper, a map-of-the-world coloring sheet that gets filled in as benchmarks are met, or a large plastic tube that you fill with different colored sand each time a gift is dropped off — the possibilities are endless. Remember, the more creative you are, the more it will inspire your parishioners to “feel the joy!”

BOX OF JOY BLESSING CEREMONY

Before your gifts are taken to the Drop-off Center, have a special time of blessing for the Boxes of Joy at Sunday Mass. Pray that the Lord will bless the gifts on their journey and that they will show the love of Christ to the children, their families and the entire community.

  • • The priest’s message can be about giving to the poor, fulfilling the Works of Mercy, and other lessons on showing the love of Christ to the world.
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  • • Pray for the priests, nuns and lay missionaries in the countries receiving the Boxes of Joy.
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FAMILY TIME

Encourage each family to make this a part of their family’s Christmas celebration. Have a family fun night by going to the store to buy items, and then come home to pack the Boxes of Joy and make a card for the children who receive them.

SKIT PROMOTIONS

Promote your Box of Joy campaign through skits in catechism classes and other children’s or youth ministry events. For example, ask two adult members to dress up like Boxes of Joy talking about the journey they’re about to make across the world. Or have children participate, representing children from the U.S. and children in the developing countries that would be receiving the boxes. Show the difference in the children’s lives and build compassion for the poor in the hearts of your students.

FAMILY CHRISTMAS PARTY

Serve hot chocolate, Christmas cookies and candy canes and ask every family to bring the items to pack in their boxes. Play Christmas music and set up a Christmas card and box-wrapping station. Each box can include a Christmas card to make the children feel special. (Lids must be wrapped in a way so they can still open.)

BOX OF JOY OLYMPICS

In catechism classes, turn your Box of Joy campaign into a friendly competition to see who can pack the most Boxes of Joy! This competition could be between boys and girls, between grades or between teams within your group. Give children weekly updates on who is winning — and give them a fun incentive to participate. For instance, the winning team receives a pizza party.

“JOY” RIDE

When your group collects all your Boxes of Joy, caravan them to your Drop-off Center. Make it fun for the children in your parish or school by decorating cars. Use window paint to say things like, “I packed a Box of Joy for Christmas,” or “For Kids Who Wish for Just One Gift.”

CRAFTING PARTY

  • • For the Women’s Group in your parish, gather to make items for your boxes in order to save money on supplies and to give children creative, one-of-a-kind gifts. For instance, you could sew a pillowcase dress for a girl ages 2-4, sew bean bags or knit a hat for a child of any age. Search online for additional creative ideas.
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  • • For your Children’s Group, gather children to make Christmas cards to be placed in each box. This will make the Boxes of Joy more personal and make the children feel more involved. See the printable “Kids Activity Page” below.
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HONOR OR MEMORIAL GIFTS

Have a program in your parish or school to pack a Box of Joy in honor or memory of someone.

  • • Create a card to be filled out in the person’s honor or memory and place it in your Box of Joy.
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  • • Instead of giving traditional Christmas gifts to family members, fill a box in their honor.
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TEENS ON A MISSION

Don’t forget to get your parish’s youth group involved in this project. Ask them to volunteer to promote Box of Joy in your parish and community. Don’t forget to listen to their suggestions — they have some of the most creative ideas in your congregation and can get your campaign all over social media!

BOX OF JOY CHRISTMAS TREE

Encourage your parishioners or students to bring enough boxes to build a “Christmas tree” at a gathering area in your parish. By the time Box of Joy Week comes, you will have gathered plenty of boxes and made a beautiful Christmas display!

POVERTY EDUCATION

Once a week, before the Boxes of Joy are collected, explain to children’s catechism classes what it means to be a child living in poverty overseas. Many children might not be aware that other children don’t have food to eat, clothes to wear, a pencil for school or toys to play with like they do.

RUN FOR JOY

Host a 5K run/walk in your community; make the entry fee a filled Box of Joy for a child.

PRAYER TEAM

Recruit a prayer team from your parish or a social justice team to meet regularly the month before Box of Joy Week. Here are some ways they can cover this ministry in prayer:

  • • Pray for each boy and girl who will receive a box, that they will receive the box God meant for them to have.
  • • Pray for your parish, that God would open each member’s heart to give generously of their time and resources.
  • • Pray that Box of Joy will show God’s love to each child who receives one, opening his or her heart to the lifesaving message of Jesus Christ.
  • • Pray for God to work in the hearts of people in the communities where these poor children live. May these gifts show Christ’s heart for the poor and build a bridge to the local Catholic parish.
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Press Room Materials and Images

Want to help promote Box of Joy? Learn how to spread the word.

Gift Ideas

Key reminders:

1. Use the provided gift box or any shoebox (approximately 12″ x 5″.)

2. Fill out and attach the Boy/Girl label to box lid, if needed.

3. Include $9 check (no cash) in provided envelope. Place on gifts.

4. Secure the lid with a rubber band (no tape please).

Personal notes & photos:

We encourage you to write a personal note or handmade Christmas card and share a photo of yourself or family (advisable for a parent or a teacher to review notes written by children).

TOYS

Handheld toys
Small plush animals
Small balls (tennis, etc.)
Ball (deflated), with pump
Cars / Trucks
Doll
Mini puzzle
Finger puppets
Silly Putty
Beanbag / Hacky sack
Unopened fast-food toys
Binoculars
Lego® building blocks
Harmonica, kazoo or other
small instrument
Jump rope
Paddle ball
Yo-yo
Slinky®
Mini board games
Balloons
Craft kit (beads, elastic, etc.)
Pom-poms

SCHOOL SUPPLIES

Pencils, colored pencils
Solar calculator
Sharpener
Small board books
Erasers
Pencil case
Crayons
Pens, markers
Ruler
Glue stick (no liquid)
Safety scissors
Coloring book
Notepads
Stickers
Self-inking stamp
Flash cards
Dry paints (no liquid paint)

HARD CANDY & GUM

Please seal in a Ziploc®-style bag (no chocolates)

APPAREL

Socks
Shorts
Underwear
T-shirts
Flip-flops
Bandanas
Hats
Shoelaces
Plastic poncho

HYGIENE / HOME

Comb / Brush
Forks & Spoons
Cup / Bottle with lid
Bar soap
Toothpaste (in the box)
Toothbrush and floss
Bandages
Hand wipes (no gels)
Tissues
Lip balm
Manicure kit
Nail clippers / Emery board

ACCESSORIES

Watch
Purse or Wallet
Sunglasses
Necklace
Hair ribbons
Hair / Head bands
Barrettes
Bracelets
Earrings
Scarf
Cross or Rosary

USEFUL ITEMS

Sewing kit
Utensils
Compass
LED keychain
Duct tape
No-battery flashlight
Drawstring bag

- DO NOT PACK -

Food or Beverages Medicines or Vitamins Liquids (shampoo, nail polish, etc.) Gels (antibacterial, etc.) Chocolate Military / Police Toys Toy Weapons Glass / Breakables Knives / Tools

Want to Spread the Word?

You can download Box of Joy artwork and shareable graphics

Print Materials and Videos

Share on social media with family and friends