The Christmas Box International Charity Calls On Community Support for 1,000 Kid’s Summer and School Essentials

Media Contact: 
Celeste Edmunds
(801) 516-1801
[email protected]
Live interviews with Celeste Edmunds, Author,Garbage Bag
, and Executive Director, The Christmas Box International

(SALT LAKE CITY, UT – June 12, 2024) This summer, The Christmas Box International is asking for the community to help bring joy and support to over 1,000 abused and neglected children in Utah. We aim to make a significant difference in their lives through the annual Christmas in July Campaign. We invite you to be a part of this transformative journey by donating funds and essential items for the children and families served by The Christmas Box House emergency shelters and 23 statewide resource centers.

Since 1996, The Christmas Box International has provided shelter and essential items for more than 155,000 children. Celeste Edmunds, author of Garbage Bag Girl and the executive director of The Christmas Box International, stated, “During the holidays, we are blessed to collect toys, blankets, and winter clothing for the kiddos. For many kids, summertime is a chance to unwind, spend time with family, and enjoy fun activities. However, things are very different for children coming to the Christmas Box House, and we try to live up to our motto that every child deserves a childhood.”

We believe that it takes a village to raise a child, and we are reaching out to our community for help. We need swimsuits, sunscreen, hygiene kits, $50 Visa birthday cards, and school backpacks and supplies to prepare the children for their summer and back-to-school essentials. Your contribution can make a world of difference in their lives.

As someone who grew up in the child welfare system, Edmunds knows firsthand what these youth are going through: “When youth stay at The Christmas Box House, we want them to have a sense of normalcy by providing them the essentials they would ‘normally’ have at home.

In addition to providing them with their necessities, we also work with the community to provide summer activities such as going to Lagoon or a water park, visiting the zoo or the aquarium, or simply eating out. Although their lives are difficult, all children deserve the chance to have fun and carefree summer experiences.”

Richard Paul Evans, founder of The Christmas Box International, emphasized that “Safety isn’t seasonal. We serve children 365 days a year and need to make shelter and resources available for families served by the state.”

The charity partners with Salt Lake County Youth Services, the Division of Child & Family Services, and the Family Support Centers of Utah. There are also online wish lists available at of the specific needs of children and families.

Donations are accepted Monday through Friday, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm. Drop-off location sites are available on the website at Additional questions regarding needs or ways to be involved, may be directed to [email protected].

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About The Christmas Box International

  • The Christmas Box International 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 groups to improve the quality of life for children, teens, and young adults who are victims of abuse, neglect, trafficking, or are facing homelessness.

The mission is simple: Every child deserves a childhood.

  • Over the last two decades, The Christmas Box International has protected and served more than 155,000 children. In 2022, The Christmas Box House International served 14,291 at-risk children.
  • The Christmas Box House is an emergency shelter for children ages 0-18 who have been removed from their homes because of abuse, trafficking, or homelessness. Utah has three locations: Moab, Salt Lake, and Ogden. Between all three Christmas Box House locations, an average of 1,000 siblings each year can stay together.
  • The Christmas Box International has 23 resource rooms throughout 16 counties in Utah, from St. George to Tooele, to Logan. Christmas Box Resource Rooms are located in a Christmas Box House emergency shelter or a Division of Child & Family Services office to provide resources to caseworkers who have had to remove a child from their home because of abuse or neglect and may not be staying at a Christmas Box House emergency shelter.