Our story has something for everyone.
It began 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 spent several weeks there fishing for salmon and halibut. 

After braving bear encounters, rolling seas, and bloodthirsty mosquitoes, they would always fly home to Michigan with hundreds of pounds of fish, but not a lot of room for it. What, they wondered, could they do with it all?

Fish party attendees enjoy the 50s Soda Shoppe!

It became a love story...
told in August each year when Sheryl and Tim would hold a big cookout (aka the Fish Party) to share some of their catch with family and friends. As the gathering grew over the  years, they felt blessed to have so many 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 them the idea to send holiday care packages to American troops - and at the next Fish Party they collected donations sufficient to build and send 10 boxes. In every year since then, the goal increased. What began as a little project soon extended 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. 

In 2019, the Alaskan fishing camp is gone, and our Fish Party will transform into an annual summer fundraiser with different themes each year. The event may change but the passion the Fish Party inspired is rock solid!

Care packages for American troops will continue to be our core project. Their sacrifices and needs are truly humbling and every box we send to them really does contain a piece of our hearts. 

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 in a box.