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How Your Family Can Encourage Someone with a Joy Box

How Your Family Can Encourage Someone with a Joy Box

What is a Joy Box, you ask? It’s simply a name given to a box that can hold cards and notes of encouragement as well as small trinkets of love.

Maybe you know someone who is battling cancer, or whose spouse has recently passed away. Maybe you have a friend who can’t seem to get passed an addiction or is going through depression. This idea also works great for a student who is away at college or a young mother who’s adjusting to being at home with littles.   *this post does contain affiliates


Although we live in an age of instant gratification and technology beyond our understanding, we also live with incurable cancer, terminal illnesses, & depression. Now, more than ever, we need to encourage the faint hearted and lonely.

The first time I heard of this was while visiting a ‘shut in’ couple from our church. Due to aging ailments, the couple is forced to stay at home and not join their church family on a weekly basis. Needless to say, they get cabin fever, just like the rest of us! While I was there, she showed me a small box that someone had given her. It contained several Hallmark cards as well as some note paper and stamps. She proceeded to pull out a card that has helped keep her sanity during the monotonous days. The words, she said, were life giving and full of hope.  Any time she felt alone, down trodden, forgotten…she would look through her box and be reminded of all the ways she was loved. Not only by her friends and family, but by God.


To start off, you simply need a box!

-an old shoe box
-a photo box.  Micheals often puts these on sale for only $2 and they  work perfectly.
-If you have some extra cash, purchase a floral printed one from Hobby Lobby or Burke’s Outlet. You know, the one’s with the magnetic lid 🙂  Here’s an example from Amazon as well.

I chose to make two at once. One for a dear friend who was going though radiation treatment, and couldn’t be around groups due to a weakened immune system, and the other for a couple who haven’t been able to work and are battling an incurable degenerative disease.

I used some old photo boxes that I had. (livin’ with what’s given’, remember) They were both still in great condition. For the single lady, I used one that was already printed with a floral pattern. On the inside I attached pretty card stock paper and a poem describing what the Joy Box was for.

For the couple, I used a plain white photo box. I covered it inside and out with old comic strips, stickers I had on hand, and other fun quotes I found in my scrapbooking stuff.  Also inside, I glued the poem explaining what a Joy Box was.

                      **You can be creative and come up with your own poem, or click here for a free Word Document download

-You could easily decorate with magazine prints, flower pictures, Scripture quotes, stickers, or just hand written designs or artwork.


Now for what goes inside:

-To begin with, each got a handwritten note. Just to let them know our family was thinking about and praying for them. We added chapstick, blank note cards, chocolate kisses, and some homemade pictures that the kids had made.

-Other items you might include, besides cards, could be:

  • lotion
  • fingernail file or clippers
  • postage stamps for thank you notes
  • books
  • a new movie
  • Precious Moments figurines
  • photos
  • gift cards
  • a new
  • favorite candy
  • a new pair of footies

Once the boxes are made, hand deliver them to the recipient, if you are able. Encourage them to add any cards they receive or inspirational quotes they read.  I took my kids with me to deliver them.  We couldn’t stay very long, but even 10 minutes was enough of a booster for those who were struggling. It’s also a wonderful way to teach compassion and tangible ways of showing encouragement to the next generation. For there will always be those that need a Joy Box   🙂

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