This is Derek Miller Speaking on Business. Nearly 30 years ago, Utah native Richard Paul Evans wrote a novel titled “The Christmas Box” which eventually became a worldwide number-one best seller. That fictional story led a real-life solution, led today by Celeste Edmunds, who shares the rest of the story.


After becoming a national best-selling author, Richard Paul Evans and his wife Keri decided that they wanted to give back. A state-wide child welfare conference was held to ask one question: What is the single, most important thing we can do for Utah’s at-risk children? The solution was a safe place where children could go when they are removed from abuse, neglect, trafficking or facing homelessness.

The Christmas Box International was created, and Christmas Box houses were soon a reality. Through the support of the Evan’s family and our local community, three Christmas Box houses have been built in Moab, Salt Lake, and a third in Ogden – collectively providing emergency protection for nearly a thousand children each year. The Christmas Box International also distributes $600,000 worth of much-needed in-kind donations for children supported by the Department of Human Services.

We have 13 resource rooms located throughout the state, providing support for caseworkers, as well as our annual Project Elf campaign, providing gifts to brighten the lives of 2,500 neglected children and young adults during the holiday season.


More than 700 volunteers work with The Christmas Box International in “making spirits bright.” If you can give financially or would like to donate items from their wish list, please visit The Christmas and click on the elf! I’m Derek Miller with the Salt Lake Chamber, Speaking on Business.