Friday, January 21, 2022

Jared Box Day celebrated in Centre County

BELLEFONTE — The Centre County Board of Commissioners declared May 22, 2021 to be Jared Box Day in Centre County.

The Jared Box Project, a nonprofit organization started in State College, has a goal to deliver “smile boxes” to children receiving treatments. A Jared Box is a plastic shoebox filled with crayons, coloring books, puzzles, crafts and other fun activities.

The mission of The Jared Box Project is to lift the spirits and put smiles on the faces of children in the hospital. The initiative has spread to all 50 states with an estimate of over 900,000 Jared Boxes been distributed to date.

Leadership Centre County (LEADERSHIP) played a key role in celebrating Jared Box Day. Each program year, the LEADERSHIP class is divided into groups to take on community service projects. This year, the team made up of Karen Brewster, Holly Oxendale, Adam Salyards, Donna Smith and Jeff Wheeler, selected to support The Jared Box Project.

As part of this team’s effort, Giant/Martins Food Stores made 106 Jared Boxes and the LEADERSHIP team made another 100 Jared Boxes.

“Leadership Centre County’s vision is for a vibrant community built upon robust servant leadership. A community where effective leaders improve the quality of life for their communities. The Jared Box project embodied this vision and spirit by bringing together our Team members, community leaders, and members of many different organizations throughout Centre County by raising financial support, donating materials for boxes, declaring a Jared Box Day, and piecing 206 Jared Boxes together,” said Jeff Salyards, member of LEADERSHIP Class of 2021.

“The project has brought additional awareness to a need in our community and attention to a fantastic organization based in Centre County that is doing work all over the United States. Servant leaders from children to adults create a spark in children’s lives, one box at a time through service to Jared Box. The project has ultimately positively affected the participants, the organization, and the community.”

Bellefonte READS held a book drive and collected 193 books to celebrate Jared Box Day. The Bellefonte READS group is committed to promoting literacy throughout the community.

One of their main goals is to put quality books in the hands of children and families. Books are the perfect addition to Jared Boxes.

“What a joy it is to watch this random act of kindness project spread across the country” said Cindy Kolarik, executive director of The Jared Box Project.

“The support we receive here Centre County Community is so heartwarming. Thanks to the support of local schools, churches, service organizations and businesses, we are able to hand out over 200 Jared Boxes per month here in State College. What a testament this is to the kind and caring members of Centre County. Happy Jared Box Day.”

To learn more about The Jared Box project and to get involved in making Jared Boxes for your community visit www.thejaredbox.