KENNEBUNK — A year after assembling 354 boxes of Christmas gifts for children who may have never received a Christmas gift before, Holy Spirit Parish in Kennebunk and Wells have set an even loftier goal for the coming weeks.

“We have 450 boxes for this year,” said Lisa White of Holy Spirit Parish.

The initiative, “Box of Joy,” invites participants from Maine to fill boxes (picture below) with toys and other gifts and return them to the parish by November 10. The boxes are then shipped to children in need living in Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Grenada, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Guatemala to spread joy and mercy at Christmas time.

“Participants bless children suffering from extreme poverty by sharing the joy of Christmas and planting seeds of hope,” said Lisa.

To participate, pick up a box at either St. Martha Church (30 Portland Road in Kennebunk) or St. Mary Church (236 Eldridge Road in Wells) and fill it with items on the recommended list found at www.crosscatholic.org/boxofjoy. Then, bring the box back to either church. Please enclose a $9 check made out to Cross Catholic Outreach to cover the shipping costs. If you are interested in volunteering to help assemble and ship the boxes, please contact Lisa White at lisafohlinwhite@gmail.com or (207) 351-0502. 

Holy Spirit is one of four parishes participating in the “Box of Joy” initiative this year. In addition:

  • Christ the King Parish is hosting box pick up and collection sites at Notre Dame de Lourdes Church (273 Water Street in Skowhegan), St. Peter Church (27 Owens Street in Bingham), and St. Sebastian Church (161 Main Street in Madison).
  • St. Teresa of Calcutta Parish is hosting box pick up and collection sites at St. Catherine of Sienna Church (32 Parish Street in Norway) and Our Lady of Ransom Church (117 Elm Street in Mechanic Falls).
  • St. Joseph Parish in Bridgton is hosting box pick up and collection sites at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church (857 Main Street in Fryeburg) and St. Joseph Church (225 South High Street in Bridgton).

All are encouraged to participate if they are able. For more information about the history and impact of the Box of Joy initiative, visit www.crosscatholic.org/box-of-joy.