Holy spirit

Holy Spirit Parish of Wells and Kennebunk will fill ‘joy boxes’ to help children in need

KENNEBUNK — Holy Spirit Parish will participate in a program that helps deliver shoeboxes full of gifts to children in the South American Mission who have never received Christmas gifts before.

Participating in the “Box of Joy” initiative is simple. Individuals and families fill a shoebox or shoeboxes with gifts and mark the box for a boy or girl and the approximate age. Then they simply drop off the box at St. Martha’s Church (34 Portland Road, Kennebunk) or St. Mary’s Church (236 Eldridge Road, Wells) by Sunday, November 14. Shoeboxes are available at both St. Martha’s and St. Mary’s Church.

“By wrapping ‘Boxes of Joy’ with toys and other goodies, participants bless children suffering from extreme poverty by sharing the joy of Christmas and sowing seeds of hope,” said Lisa White, l one of the organizers of the project at the Holy Spirit Parish.

Boxes can be dropped off before and after masses at Sainte-Marthe (Monday to Friday at 9 a.m., Saturday at 4 p.m., Sunday at 8 a.m. and 10 a.m.) or at Sainte-Marie (Monday to Friday at 8 a.m., Saturday at 4 p.m., Sunday at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m.). Boxes can also be dropped off at parish offices.

“Attendees are asked to include a check for $9 in gift boxes made out to ‘Cross Catholic Outreach’ to cover shipping costs,” White said.

A similar program will also take place at Christ the King Parish in Skowhegan in November (www.portlanddiocese.org/content/%E2%80%9Cbox-joy%E2%80%9D-program-skowhegan-help-children-need- November -6-11).

Through Cross Catholic Outreach, all boxes will be delivered to children in need living in Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua and Guatemala to spread joy and mercy at Christmas time. A list of recommended gifts as well as a list of what cannot be sent appear on the Cross Catholic Outreach website (www.crosscatholic.org/boxofjoy), which oversees nearly 300 service projects in 36 countries across the world. In general, toys, hygiene items and school supplies are acceptable. Items must be new or like new and must not contain liquids, food or anything related to violence.

If you are interested in starting a “Box of Joy” program in your parish, call 207-938-3030 or email Elyse Wilson at elysethemom@gmail.com.