in partnership withLocal 12 News
BoxFull Box.jpg
It is important to share in the meaningful moments of people's lives even if you are unable to be there in person. Send a BOXFULL of love to those you care about and be "there" even when you cannot! / Image: Provided by BoxFull // Published: 7.9.2021

Send a BoxFull of Love

When you can't be near your loved ones, let BoxFull show them how much you care.

BoxFull, created by Jen Barcenas and her husband Juan, was an organic idea created out of love for a friend in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"When you send a gift from BoxFull, your loved one is receiving a Hug in a Box - where the arms open with the box so the person sees the bear or stuffed animal ready for a hug," says Barcenas.

The first BoxFull was sent to a friend of Barcenas, when a parent died from COVID-19 right before Christmas. She was unable to be there in person to hug her, and rather than sending something that feels too impersonal, she decided to write a poem, buy a teddy bear, and send a box full of love and hugs.

"BoxFull was made to be there when you can't," says Barcenas. "When you send a box full of hugs, you're really sending that bear in your place to be there to comfort, celebrate, or connect you with the loved one you miss."

Each BoxFull comes with a 22-inch teddy bear and a poem, personalized message, or handwritten note.

"I believe that if you really close your eyes tight and squeeze the bear you can feel the hug from whoever sent it to you," she adds.

BoxFull gifts aren't just for sad occasions either. "We have a BoxFull for every occasion including birthday, just because, new baby, get well, 21st birthday, plant lovers, positive affirmation candles and mugs, and if we don’t have it we can create a custom box," she says.

Plus, BoxFull is a gift that will last. "A BoxFull is there beyond just the delivery," says Barcenas. "They're there anytime they miss you, they can walk over and give the bear a squeeze."

Others who have received a BoxFull of love have shared the impact the gift has received on them.

Siblings ages 14, 13, and 10-year-old twins who lost their mother to COVID-19 on Christmas Day received a box from Barcenas. And as someone who lost her own mother when she was nine, she knew the pain they were going through.

"I wrote a new, personalized poem for each child, trying to comfort and convey what I'd want my own children to hear," she says. "The buyer and I exchanged stories and shared pictures and connected far deeper than you would expect through an Etsy shop. The last piece of it that really got me was when she sent me the message of what she wanted in the card. She closed with the Lord's Blessing and that was actually something that my mom requested the pastor say to her when she was sick in the hospital and at the funeral."

This labor of love that the Barcenas family gets to share through their BoxFull of Hugs has become something of a family affair. As a family it is something we can do together and show our children the impact you can have on others, because sometimes you just need a hug.

You can shop BoxFull on their Etsy site. They’re also on Instagram and Facebook, where they post boxes that are available for purchase and share behind the scenes of growing a small business.