Blessing boxes, giving at its best
by Ariel McRae
Food scarcity is a true epidemic in this country. Millions of people are finding themselves without the proper resources to feed themselves, practice proper hygiene or clothe themselves appropriately for the seasonal temperature changes. Helping people who are either already homeless or just a paycheck away from homelessness is hard, especially around the holidays. There are ways to help anonymously, though, in Gibson County.
Blessing boxes have been implemented around Gibson County with the expressed intent to provide a way for people to help their neighbors while practicing anonymity and providing a means for people who need the help to retain their pride. There is no shame in needing and asking for help, but it can be hard to voice those concerns, especially struggling as parents in charge of children. These boxes are a way for those who need it to have access to food, hygienic needs and even some clothing and blankets.
“I do think (blessing boxes) make a difference,” expressed Allyson Harris, former president of the Gibson County Leadership Alumni Association. “I’ve noticed that a lot of people who need help are afraid to ask for it, so this is a discreet way for them to be able to get foods and other items without having to specifically ask someone for help.”
In a blessing box, if you are looking to supply some goods for people they need to be non-perishables. Stocking the blessing box is not about emptying the cabinets of things you will not eat. It is about taking into consideration that people deserve to have more than discarded, unwanted food items. When stocking the box, plan an entire meal, if you can, and leave the meal together in the box. For example, grab a box of pasta and pasta sauce that pair together and leave them in the same box. Another example would be canned veggies and some vegetable broth to make a soup.
“Mostly non-perishables [can go in the box] in case they are left in there for a longer period of time,” Harris
explained. “Canned goods, breads, pasta, oatmeal, nuts, seasonings, cereal, water/drinks, etc. We also put toiletries like toothbrushes and paste, feminine products, toilet paper and paper towels, paper plates, deodorant, soap, diapers, etc.”
These boxes strengthen a community and bring neighbors a little closer together. ‘See a need, fill a need’ is the overarching theme of these blessings boxes. Coming together to fill the needs of those within Gibson County with needs greater than they can fill on their own is not only thoughtful but an absolute necessity.
“The blessing box has been a tremendous help to the community,” shared Gladys Robinson, director of the Humboldt Boys and Girls Club. “We see about 10 to15 cars a day that stop to see what’s in the box [outside of the club]. Since the day of placement, we have received new club members and more visitors asking about the services we provide. Churches and the community have really gotten involved in trying to keep the box filled. This box is an awesome blessing to all.”
Here is a list of some of the locations where you can find a blessings box whether you want to donate or you are in need:
Humboldt Housing Authority
Boys & Girls Club
Mobile Home Park
East Elementary School
Three Way Animal Clinic
Humboldt Health Department
Mt.Zion Baptist Church
Hopewell Baptist Church