The Joliet Diocese Council of Catholic Women participated in the Box of Joy ministry sponsored by Cross Catholic Outreach, in 2017 and 2018. This program sends Christmas gifts to children in developing countries. For many poor children, a Box of Joy – filled with toys, clothing, school supplies, a rosary and the Story of Jesus – was the first Christmas gift they ever received. Council of Catholic Women groups throughout the Joliet diocese gathered in their parishes and deaneries and brought donations to put together the boxes.
They collected monetary donations to help pay for the shipping of the boxes as well. Cross Catholic Outreach estimates the cost to ship is $9 per box, so many contributed with boxes and/or monetary donations. About 40 parishes and the six CCW deanery groups collected and sent 2,372 boxes and a parish from the Rockford diocese put together 319 for a total of 2,691. A truck from Cross Catholic Outreach picked up the boxes on November 13, 2018.
In 2017 and 2018 Visitation parish in Elmhurst was the drop-off site for the boxes in a former convent that is on parish property. The location served JDCCW well with the chairperson of the collection being a member of the parish. Visitation was generous is allowing JDCCW to use the space, but they are planning to update the building for parish needs.
JDCCW needs to find a new drop-off site and we are hoping to find a facility more centrally located in the diocese. Venessa Lopatka, the current JDCCW president has contacted over a dozen parishes and none have any space they can provide.
Space is needed for about 3 months from the middle of August until middle of November. We only need a room about the size of an average classroom or any space about 15 x 20 feet. The boxes don’t need to be stored at a church or school. It could be a business or other organization who has some space we could access at arranged times for this 3 month period.
If we are not able to find a space to store the boxes from mid-August to mid-November, we risk not participating in this valuable program that has both a material and spiritual impact on the poorest of the poor in places like Guatemala, Nicaragua, Haiti, El Salvador and the Dominican Republic.
If anyone is able to help with this need, please contact:
Venessa Lopatka, President
Joliet Diocesan Council of Catholic Women firstname.lastname@example.org
16555 Weber Road
Crest Hill, IL 60403
For information on Cross Catholic Outreach go to:
Joliet Diocese Council of Catholic Women in Need of Temporary Storage Space for Box of Joy Collection