Boxes of joy is the solidarity initiative of ADRA Italia (Adventist Agency for Development and Relief) for the festive season at the end of 2020. "It is designed to be a way of thinking of others, involving the family and offering a thought of closeness in this period of not only economic but also relational fragility," said Dag K. Pontvik, Director of ADRA Italia.
Promoted especially by the humanitarian agency's local coordinators and churches, the project can also be accepted and implemented by individuals.
To give life to Boxes of Joy, "we took our cue from a similar initiative that ADRA has been carrying out for several years in various countries around the world, and from the experience with Florence's Quartiere 1 in the 'Christmas Boxes' project," explained Pontvik. "At a local level, the Romanian Adventist Church of Florence took part in this initiative in the neighbourhood, involving its own community and becoming one of the collection points."
The idea is simple and affordable. The idea is to decorate a box (e.g., a shoebox) and fill it with some objects that can somehow express the qualities and feelings of solidarity: warmth, sweetness, serenity, beauty, affection. So, the box can include:
- something "warm", such as a pair of gloves, a scarf, a hat, etc.;
- something indulgent, such as nuts, almonds, chocolate, a sweet (wrapped, of course);
- a pastime, e.g., a book, notebook, magazine, pencils, etc.;
- a beauty product, such as hair clips and tongs, body cream, bubble bath, shampoo, perfume, etc.; and, finally,
- a nice and friendly card.
After wrapping the box, write in a corner who it is for, whether woman, man or child (add age range), and deliver it to the Adventist church, or to the ADRA office promoting the initiative in your town. But it can also be a personal gift to "share closeness, in this festive period, with one or several families you know and who live in a situation of fragility," concludes the director of ADRA Italy, because "'There is more joy in giving than in receiving!' (Acts 20:35)".