Established by local resident, Jim Cavnar, Box of Joy is headquartered in Boca Raton. In partnership with the people of Palm Beach County, Box of Joy provides Christmas gifts to desperately poor children in suffering countries.

In 2019, my family and I were introduced to the passion project, Box of Joy and Mr. Cavnar, who also founded Cross Catholic Outreach. Their mission changed me, and opened my heart back up. To be honest, I had grown weary of the Christmas Giving Tree after seeing a tag asking for clothing from Victoria’s Secret!

Last year Box of Joy grew from giving 2,693 boxes to 16,825 boxes in Haiti alone!

One day I was watching their video and was struck by the pure unadulterated JOY on the faces of the children that received gifts for Christmas.

According to Tessie O’Dae, spokesperson for the Box of Joy project, the boxes are designed to encourage children to pray so that they can have hope. These children are the poorest of the poor and often don’t know what a gift is. Box of Joy reaches children in Guatemala, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Grenada and The Bahamas…which is still recovering from the 2019 Hurricane, Dorian.

Last year Box of Joy grew from giving 2,693 boxes to 16,825 boxes in Haiti alone!

You can participate as a group or on your own. Once you get your box, decide on the age group you want to purchase for and the gender. Then, purchase small items that can fit into a shoe-size box. Personal items like toothbrushes and toothpaste, a washcloth, small toys, personal drinking items, crayons, markers, balls, socks, or shoes/flip flops are some of the better choices. Box of Joy includes a child’s prayer book or story of Jesus and a rosary. Shipping and handling is only $9.00 payable by check.

So what if you can’t get out due to COVID or you aren’t comfortable shopping? Box of Joy has an option on their website where you can create a box on-line for only $34.

“When you give Joy, you get Joy” is the organizations motto. I whole-heartedly agree.

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