When we hear stories about our dedicated and generous supporters we have to share them more widely! Mill Hill Missionary, Fr Emmanuel Mbeh, recently got in touch with us to share about a wonderful family with a great missionary spirit.

Meet Laura, Abraham, Sarah, Oge and Elizabeth – our mini missionaries in Middlesbrough. After my Mission Appeals in 2021, they received a children’s Red Box, and I was invited to go and share a meal with the family. Laura, age 9, took charge and wanted ardently to ‘save coins for mission’.

Laura appealed to her siblings to cooperate in filling the children’s Red Box which soon was filled to the brim! So, their parents’ Red Box became theirs. And their parents generously pledged to double whatever amount they raised.

Every penny counts

Laura counted the coins often to see if they added up to £1, £2, £3… and within a year, to everyone’s amazement, her total exceeded £5. Now I will let them tell you in their own words their story of being mini missionaries. And how as a family, they pray together for all families and the needs of the world, as well as sacrificing for charity and overseas mission. Laura shares:

‘We raised £21.17 in total; we have donated pounds, pennies and notes, even change from when we buy things from shops.’

Abraham, 12, adds:

‘It was a great effort from everyone; me, my sisters and brother and everyone else who helped reach these milestones. I thank everyone who contributed; we thank everyone everywhere for helping missionaries through the Red Box. We would also like to thank Fr Emmanuel for inspiring us and introducing us to the Red Boxes and this missionary endeavour. May God help everyone, everywhere, whoever they are, wherever they may be. May God bless us all.’

Sarah, who is also 12, shares:

‘What inspired me the most to keep going is that every penny makes a difference.’

14 year old Oge agrees:

‘It has been truly a wonderful journey, with the encouragement of all the family members in order to give the money for mission… for the cause, instead of keeping the coins to ourselves. We donated money and we think about the people who were receiving the money.’

Big sister Elizabeth, age 15, told me:

‘My siblings and I have really enjoyed contributing by adding money to the Red Box in our home. It brings joy to my heart to know that we are helping to make a difference; supporting those who can’t afford to support themselves unfortunately because of how the world is. But, as I imagine, we are not the only kids or teenagers that are contributing to the Red Boxes; every penny will make a difference as it will accumulate to a larger value. Every penny helps.’

What inspiring children – what a wonderful example of how everyone – however young or small they may feel, can make a tangible difference in the world!

Children helping children

Missio’s Mission Together Diocesan Director for Middlesbrough, Mrs Helena McGouran, was so impressed when she met the children at Mass. She shares:

‘It was lovely to meet Laura and her family on Sunday at their parish church. What a tremendous effort in fundraising for Mission Together; the little Red Box couldn’t hold the money and it had to transferred to the bigger Red Box! Laura and her family are committed to helping Missio through their prayers and having a Red Box in their home. Thank you.’

Why is it red?

The family is a family of prayer, stories, laughter, discipline, hard work, respect, humility, and values. As they handed over the Red Box for me to empty and give them a new one, their father threw in a question to get everyone thinking:

‘Why is it a Red Box, and not a white or black or green box?’

There were a lot of theories about the Red Box. I explained to them that in the way they have a Red Box, I have a red sash as I’m a Mill Hill Missionary (the red sash symbolises the blood of the martyrs and the love and sacrifices they’ve made to hand on the faith). And we are all missionaries, praying and striving to understand the needs and sufferings of others and make the world a better place – it’s about sacrifice, that is charity, giving up something for the benefit of others.

God bless all who give, or pray, or receive, or share the mission of the Church: that all people are God’s children, loved and cared about, that Jesus died and rose for all; and that it is gracious and beautiful to share and care and pray and love and heal.

Your Red Box

We love hearing our supporters’ stories about their Red Boxes – many of which have been handed down through generations in a legacy of generosity and faith, while others are new additions to family homes, inspired by recent visits from Missio and Mill Hill Missionaries. However you come to know the Red Box, we want you to know that every penny, pound and prayer you share with us counts, and makes a real difference to our sisters and brothers in need around the world. Thank you – we are so grateful for all you do.

But have you ever wondered what happens to your generous Red Box donations? Turns out they go on quite the journey! Watch our Red Box animation to find out more: