Meagan Murray has always been interested in helping others and improving their lives. It was with that in mind that at the age of 15, she used her birthday money, and money collected in yard sales she held that year, to purchase and collect 36 gifts to give to the women and children who would be spending their Christmas staying at the shelter at Wise Options at the YWCA.
She wrapped the gifts herself because she wanted to have the children have wrapped Christmas gifts just like everyone else.
It has since evolved into a charitable initiative called “Meagan’s Box Foundation,” whose motto is, “Every Child Deserves a Merry Christmas.”
Now, 25 years later, in addition to toys, the foundation provides blankets, books, and shoes.
Meagan has always had an interest in helping others and has chosen to do that as her chosen profession. She majored in Human Services at the Pennsylvania College of Technology and is currently employed at the Roads to Freedom Center For Independent Living.
“When this project started twenty-five years ago, I simply wanted to brighten the Christmas holiday for children who were less fortunate. Over the years, in the local communities, businesses, organizations, churches, individuals, and even other children have given the foundation its wings,” Meagan told Webb Weekly.
She said she was a teenager when this project took its first steps, and like every dream, it takes a support system to make any idea a reality. Her entire family and close friends have always been there behind her, helping to make it happen.
“Each year after Christmas and into the new year, we shop for the winter clothing, coats, and blankets on sale for our children next year. When the weather gets warm, we buy toys, books, school supplies, shoes, and stuffed animals at the best price for our budget. We give gifts for infants up to teens 18 years of age. Inside each box, there is usually a new outfit, pajamas, socks, a book, and a small toy. We want our boxes to be full of comfort and joy,” Meagan said.
Meagan stated that even after all these years, she still takes a moment each Christmas morning and visualizes the children opening their presents.
Last year, in 2022, Meagan’s Box Foundation was able to wrap over 2,000 gifts for the community. “Our main goal is to bring joy to the children and also give a hand up to parents struggling to provide Christmas for their families.”
“It’s not about how big the project grows, but more so, I am hoping that in the future, I will continue to have the support that is necessary to reach the children that need it most. I hope that in some way those who receive a hand up from Meagan’s Box will be inspired to pay it forward when they can,” declared Meagan.
The local organizations that are supported by Meagan’s Box Foundation include Wise Options, Liberty House, Family Promise, Saving Grace Shelter, the Foster Care programs of Lycoming County Department of Children and Youth, children of AIDS Resources, Dwell Orphan Care, Pediatric Division of Bayada, Families United Network of Muncy, Son Light House of Muncy, and families and children that are referred to Meagan’s Boxes.
She said several people hold fundraisers to support Meagan’s Box Foundation throughout the year. One of the most important is the Meagan’s Box Foundation Golf Tournament that will be held next year. Meagan said the tournament organizers are seeking sponsors for it; if you are interested in being a sponsor or supporting the foundation, you can email megarita422@gmailcom or firstname.lastname@example.org or call 570-584-3186 or 570-494-6355.