Christmas Box House helps kids in need

Good Things Utah

Kids are in need this holiday season, and the Christmas Box House charity is calling on the community. They need your help to provide Christmas for nearly 2,800 children. Founder Richard Paul Evans joined us in studio with the details.

This year, The Christmas Box International hopes to provide Christmas for up to 2,800 at-risk children in Utah despite the impact that COVID has had on nonprofits, and they need the public’s help. The Christmas Box House is sponsoring its annual Project Elf Campaign to raise funds and collect in-kind donations for children and families served by The Christmas Box House emergency shelters and programs.

For the last two decades, The Christmas Box International has provided holiday gifts for more than 43,000 children through their Project Elf Campaign. “It’s a great time of year for people to give in a way that feels meaningful to them,” states Celeste Edmunds, executive director of The Christmas Box International. “Through Project Elf, companies and individuals are invited to donate gifts, clothing, gift cards, or a monetary donation to help ensure that the children we serve can have a happy holiday season.”

As a child who grew up in the foster care system, Edmunds knows firsthand what these youth are going through. “Often, the children we are helping are not looking for much, just a sense of normalcy and belonging–like getting a new shirt with a tag on it.”

“There is no question that the COVID-19 pandemic has had an impact on donations,” said Richard Paul Evans, president and chair of The Christmas Box International. “Even during a pandemic, we serve children 365 days a year, so we need to make Christmas happen at our emergency shelters for families served by the state within our community.”

Evans said the charity is working in partnership with Salt Lake County and the Division of Child & Family Services and there are online Christmas Wish Lists of specific needs of children and families. Donations are accepted Monday through Friday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. through December 23rd at either the Salt Lake or Ogden Christmas Box Houses.

The community can learn more about The Christmas Box International and Project Elf by visiting www.thechristmasbox.org. Questions may be directed to kristin@thechristmasbox.org or by calling (801) 747-2201 ext. 107.

The Christmas Box House is an emergency shelter for children who have been victims of abuse, trafficking or neglect. The Christmas Box House was founded in 1996 by New York Times best-selling author, Richard Paul Evans after his first novel, The Christmas Box, became a global bestseller.

The Christmas Box International partners with local, national, and international communities and organizations to prevent and improve the quality of life for children, teens, and young adults who have been victims of abuse, trafficking or neglect.

Over the last two decades, The Christmas Box International has protected more than 125,000 children. In 2019, The Christmas Box House International served 8,900 youth, providing shelter for more than 11,966 days of care.

Deena Manzanares
Deena Marie Manzanares is a Utah native, but lived in NYC for a few years while attending the Atlantic Theater Company Acting School. Locally, she has worked as a professional actor for years in both stage and film.

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