Our story has some chapters.
It begins as a Fish Tale...Photo of a fish tail
on the shores of the Kenai River in Alaska where our COB Sheryl and her family have a rustic fish camp. Almost every summer, her husband Tim and son Stephen spend several weeks there fishing for salmon on the river and for halibut offshore. 

After braving bear encounters, rolling seas, and bloodthirsty mosquitoes, they always fly home to Michigan with hundreds of pounds of delicious fish. What, they soon wondered, could they do with it all?




Fish party attendees enjoy the 50s Soda Shoppe!

It became a love story...
renewed in August each year when Sheryl and Tim hold a big cookout to share some of their Alaskan catch with family and friends at what is now known as The Fish Party. As the gathering grew over the  years, they felt blessed to have so many friends with whom they could share their bounty. They sought a way to give back to those who might not be be as fortunate. A friend who served in Afghanistan gave Stephen the idea to send holiday care packages to American troops - and at the next Fish Party the family collected donations sufficient to build and send 25 boxes. In every year since then, the goal increased (and was met!) What began as a little project to "give back" was soon extending beyond the circle of family and friends.



It continues as an action adventure  ...
Photo of care packages for soldiers
growing into Hearts in a Box when our informal team grew its efforts to a size that could no longer be managed as a casual undertaking. In 2015, the 83 boxes we prepared stretched our budget and our human resources. We knew that to continue our relentless drive to increase our impact, it was time to take things to the next level. And Hearts in a Box was born. 

Care packages for American troops continue to be a core project for us. Their sacrifices and needs are truly humbling and every box we send to them really does contain a piece of our hearts. We also plan to grow our efforts in other directions, like local schools, the homeless, senior citizens,and communities in crisis. We also want to help other charitable organizations who are doing good things. 




As we continue to think outside the box, we'll likely have to deliver outside the box, too. No matter how we get our resources out to those in need, we will always remember that all of this started when we first put our hearts into a box.