Box of Joy Christmas gift program in Ashton Print
Around the Diocese
Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019 -- 12:00 AM

ASHTON -- St. Peter Catholic Parish and School in Ashton are spreading Christmas cheer early this year to children in need in Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Guatemala.

They are mobilizing Catholic schools, parishes, and other groups and individuals across the Diocese of Madison by serving as a drop-off center for the Box of Joy program (, a ministry of Cross Catholic Outreach.

Box of Joy is a win-win for those who have and those who need. It will bring the joyous spirit of Christmas to children whose families are too poor to give them a gift, and at the same time give families in the U.S. the upbeat, fun -- and very hands-on -- experience of providing Christmas joy and the story of Jesus Christ to those children.

Parishioners and students from across the country are working closely together to pack the Boxes of Joy -- a cheerful and exuberant "labor of love" shared by all -- with the goal of helping at least 70,000 impoverished children.

Team Joy, the volunteers of the Box of Joy campaign, is spearheaded locally by Michelle LeVeque, who is serving as the drop-off center coordinator at St. Peter Parish, located at 7121 CR K in Middleton (Ashton).

The drop-off center will be collecting Boxes of Joy from this area during the week of November 3 through 10. A suggested gift list can be found at

In general, toys, hygiene items, and school supplies are acceptable. Items should be new or like new, and should not include liquids, food, or anything war/gun related. A $9 check made out to Cross Catholic Outreach should be included to cover shipping and overseas costs.

LeVeque, who serves as the director of faith formation at St. Peter and St. Martin Parishes, decided to join this campaign because of the opportunity it is to share the joy and love of Christ. Her goal is to continue growing this project each year to include more parishes, schools, and groups who would like to participate. Email her at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it for more information and for project supplies, including boxes and brochures.

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