Every year almost 2,000 kids enter into Utah’s DCFS or Division of Child and Family Services. The Christmas Box House is one of the places these children go to when they are removed from their living environment. It provides emergency residential shelter and resources for children 0-18. The children stay there temporarily until more permanent place can be found either with family members or foster care. 1,020 of these kids are ages 14-21. There is always a great need for donated items and usually the younger kids are the ones that see the most donations. That leaves teenagers who will go without their needs filled as readily. 

Our mission this year is to help these teens feel as normal as possible. We want to make and gather bags or other items to help fill a void in the donations needed. This project will help both the girls and the boys, so keep that in mind when gathering supplies. It is our wish to make a CINCH SACKS to help the Christmas Box House have something to put “gifts” in when these kids come to their shelter. 


We challenge each attendee to make at least 2 cinch sacks and turn them in during the retreat. There are several cinch sack bag patterns on the internet. Here’s two links with patterns and videos of how to easily put them together. We will be spending time on Wednesday evening working on some extra bags and we would love to donate as many as we can to help these kids have something to carry their priceless belongings.

We will also be gathering other items that these kids might need to start their next stage of life. Remembering that they are leaving their home with just what they can carry, sometimes in a garbage bag. 

Here’s some additional things they might need after leaving home:

Make-up bags

Comic books

Headphones or earbuds

school supplies

anything that could be donated to make them feel like a normal teenager!

Gift cards are huge too. If you are looking to donate, consider....

Visa, Amazon, Costco, Chick-fil-A, McDonalds, Jimmy John’s, Little Caesars, KFC, Popeye’s, Dylan’s Drive-In, Sonic, Jersey Mike’s, Cinemark, Megaplex, Fat Cats, Boondocks, Walmart, Target, Old Navy, Ross, H&M, Smith’s, Home Depot and Lowes

Following this pattern, we created this darling bag and it only took us about 45 minutes.

A couple tips about putting the bag together…  Make the casing for the top ¾” instead of ½”.
We measured 1” from the corners on the bottom of the bag and boxed the corner. 

email with questions


If you want to find out more about the shelter please go to Everything we gather will be delivered as soon as the retreat is over. We look forward to your creations and what we can do to help these awesome kids!!