Bringing boxes of cheer to children

Tristian Lane Jones opens a Cheeriodical from his hospital bed at Children's of Alabama. (Contributed)

Tristian Lane Jones opens a Cheeriodical from his hospital bed at Children's of Alabama. (Contributed)

By CHRISTINE BOATWRIGHT / Staff Writer

MT LAUREL – Cheeriodicals, a gift company based out of Mt Laurel, has partnered with Children’s of Alabama to bring hospitalized children “big green boxes of cheer.”

“Gary and Mary Martha Parisher, founders of Cheeriodicals, came to us with the idea of partnering with Children’s of Alabama,” said Janie Jones, community development coordinator for Children’s. “We asked our child life specialist to find items that were appropriate for children in the hospital to keep the children stimulated, and (items) they would enjoy while in the hospital.”

Cheeriodicals are gift boxes designed for specific recipients. The boxes designed for hospitalized children are divided by age and gender.

“We have boxes for (ages) 4-11, then 12-17,” Cheeriodicals founder Mary Martha Parisher said. “We’ve gotten suggestions for people that say we need an in-between box, a third category to divide in half.”

Due to hospital restrictions, the boxes do not contain snack food, but offer children “silly windup toys, activity books, cards games,” Parisher said.

Parisher gave one of the boxes to her 8-year-old daughter for testing.

“She had the best time and played with this for hours,” she said. “Children in the hospital that may not have other things to occupy their time are certainly going to enjoy it. It gives them something to do that can consume time. And they’re things they can do with their parents.”

In addition to bringing cheer to hospitalized children, anyone purchasing any type of Cheeriodical can support Children’s. When purchasing a Cheeriodical and entering the promotional code “Childrensofal,” the company will donate $3 to Children’s of Alabama. The promotion will continue throughout 2012.

We’re really excited about this partnership,” Jones said. “It’s a great way for children to receive a number of different items while in the hospital. We already gave one to a young boy and a young girl. The excitement on their faces was unbelievable. It gives them something to do while lying in bed. It’s something to look forward to — a big green box of cheer.”

For more information about Cheeriodicals, visit Cheeriodicals.com.