Project instructions, discussion questions, and book ideas to serve a family in poverty with Big-Hearted Families™

Join the Box Project

Enrich the lives of a family in poverty.

If you’re ready for a bigger commitment, sponsor a family with The Box Project. You’ll enrich the lives of a family living in poverty in rural America by establishing a meaningful, long-term relationship and providing needed supplies.

Possible recipients

The Box Project locates families in areas of rural poverty in the Mississippi Delta.

What you’ll need

  • A willingness to make a long-term commitment to the program and the family you choose to sponsor.
  • Financial resources to send a box of items to your recipient. Items vary from family to family and month to month, but typically include household supplies, food, school supplies, clothing or seasonal items.
  • A $50 annual membership fee.


  • Visit The Box Project website to read about family sponsorship and to sign up.
  • After you are matched with a family, exchange letters and get to know them and their needs better.
  • Send a box of supplies once a month. Ask what is needed, or consider these suggestions.
  • In addition, sponsors are encouraged to learn as much as they can about the recipient, the region and available services – in short, to become mentors. Education is a core value of the program, and the hope is that sponsors will encourage and support family members in seeking higher education and better jobs, and ultimately attaining a higher level of self sufficiency.


  • What would it feel like to be poor and not have enough to eat?
  • Think of the things you use every day without thinking about it – toilet paper, soap, towels, school supplies. Can you think of other things you take for granted? How would you manage without these things?
  • Think of other things you have but don’t necessarily need to in order to survive – sports equipment, different kinds of shoes for dance classes or sports, electronic games, art and crafts supplies, etc. How would life be if you didn’t have these things?
  • What items should we include in our boxes for the people we are helping?


  • Tight Times by Barbara Shook Hazen (Puffin, 1983). Ages 5 and up. A small boy, not allowed to have a dog because times are tight, finds a starving kitten in a trash can on the same day his father loses his job.
  • Those Shoes by Maribeth Boelts (Candlewick, 2009). Ages 5 and up. This book, about a boy who wants to fit in by owning a pair of trendy shoes, contains a powerful lesson about differentiating between wants and needs.

Take it further

  • If sponsoring a family is too big a commitment at this time, consider sponsoring a family just for the holidays. Or get a group together to sponsor a family and share the work and expense. Gather monthly to pack the box and discuss different ways to improve their lives.

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