Parishes, schools invited to register for Christmas ‘Box of Joy’ program now

BRIMFIELD — It’s not too late to put smiles on the faces of children in need this Christmas by signing up for Box of Joy. Schools, parishes and organizations can register to participate through Oct. 30.

St. Joseph Parish in Brimfield and St. James Parish in Williamsfield are working together on the Cross Catholic Outreach program for the sixth year. That includes serving as a drop-off center for the fifth year, according to project leader Tina Windish.

The parishes keep doing what they do because — as the name implies — it brings “over the top” joy to children, she said.

“We want to show them that they’re not alone,” Windish told The Catholic Post.

Since Box of Joy started in 2014, more than 287,589 boxes filled with small gifts have been sent to children in Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras, Grenada and Guatemala for Christmas. Last year, 61,422 children benefited, with 648 boxes from 11 parishes sent from Brimfield alone.

In addition, the Peoria Diocesan Council of Catholic Women is participating again this year. Nympha White of Grand Ridge has already dropped off boxes to the parishes she worked with in 2020.

COLLECTION SET FOR NOVEMBER

Windish said those who need Box of Joy containers, which are the size of a shoebox, may be picked up at the Brimfield or Williamsfield churches when they are open, or at the Brimfield Village Hall, 106 E. Knoxville St., on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The hours there are 8 a.m. to noon and 1 to 5 p.m.

Plastic shoeboxes can also be used, she said.

People may bring their filled Boxes of Joy to St. Joseph’s Harrison Hall, 320 E. Illinois St., in Brimfield on Saturday, Nov. 13, and Sunday, Nov. 14, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. They will also be accepted at the Brimfield Village Hall on Monday, Nov. 8; Wednesday, Nov. 10; and Friday, Nov. 12, at the hours listed above.

A $9 check made payable to Cross Catholic Outreach is requested for each box to help with shipping it to its final destination.

Windish said that those who are not able to shop for themselves are welcome to send a check made payable to St. Joseph Catholic Church (put “Box of Joy” in the memo line) to the church at P.O. Box 199, Brimfield, IL 61517. These donations will be used to purchase gift items for additional boxes.

For more information, call Windish at (309) 742-3081, or visit crosscatholic.org/box-of-joy.

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