A Free Box Subscription Offers Mental Health Activities That Help Families Bond

Posted at 3:15 PM, Oct 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-27 15:15:40-04

Imagine subscription boxes with fun activities and products being sent to your home once a month for free. How exciting does that sound?

"Everyone loves getting box subscriptions in the mail. I love it. My daughter has Curology [and] she can't wait every month," said Nakia Bowling with the Opa-Locka Community Development Corporation.

That’s when Box Joy was born.

Developed by the OLCDC, the program aims to combine the excitement of the box delivery with the importance of bringing families together during tough times.

"We came up with 12 different months with 12 different themes anywhere from technology, to growth, to the great indoor/outdoor camp-out and then we fold in mental health principles," added Bowling.

Box Joy includes mental health activities and products that help families bond. One the activities includes gardening.

"We had a gardening tube set that included the apron, the gloves, the microgreens, the soil [and] everything that they needed. We did a live zoom where they all jumped on. We had someone walk them through how to plan, to start it off," said Bowling.

"We have a plant that actually just sprouted and just for them to see the development and the growth of the plant even two, three months later it still carries that “wow’ factor," said Box Joy subscriber Carolina Matamoros.

Matamoros is a single mother of three boys. She said the program helps her talk about mental health with her children in an innovative way.

"I come from a Honduran and Haitian household so it’s double the trouble when it comes to mental heath matters because neither one discuses that topic. So in our household it’s very much emphasized to express your feelings," said Matamoros.

The program also involves a monthly meeting with a mental health therapist.

"It is just a joy. It really brings a joy to family night and just keeping families together," added Matamoros.

The Box Joy subscription is free.

This is one of the 22 programs funded last year through the Children’s Trust Innovation Grant. For more information about more programs available, click here.