By Ashley Perham
Contributing Writer, B&R
The mother of nine-year-old GA Chayslee Mays shared the idea of a community Blessing Box to share free food and other items to members of the community. Anyone can take from the Blessing Box, and anyone can give.
Chayslee and her mom, Madison Byrd, had seen a similar box around town and thought it would be a good fit for FBC Kenton, according to Rhonda Poore, who helps with the GAs.
One side of the Blessing Box is stocked with easily prepared food items such as cereal, beans, rice, and canned vegetables. They also band water bottles and cracker packs together for people who need snacks on the go.
The food items supplement the backpacks sent home by the schools on the weekend to make sure that kids have meals every day.
The other side of the Box is stocked with toiletry items such as deodorant, diapers, laundry detergent, and soap.
The front of the Box says “Take what you need, leave what you can, and, above all, be blessed.”
Word of the Blessing Box, which was installed June 30, spread quickly on Facebook, said Poore. Now, it rarely runs out of donated items.
“It’s not a very big box at all so we’re constantly replenishing,” said Poore. “It could almost be a daily thing.”
God has continued to provide items for the box through donations and money raised by the women of FBC Kenton. They have a ministry that decorates yards for birthdays and other celebrations for donations.
“God has always provided,” said Poore. “We’ve always had enough stock, but people will just come and leave stuff and you don’t really know where it came from, so we’ve hardly had to use any money out of our mission budget.”
God has been using even non-church members, like Chayslee’s mom, to be a blessing through the Box. Poore said that she’s often seen several people she doesn’t know restocking the box.
On Wednesdays, the GAs, RAs and Mission Friends help stock the Box and pray over it.
In the Box, there’s also gospel tracts and a notebook where people can write prayer requests. These requests are prayed over by the women’s prayer group at FBC Kenton. One request left in the notebook even led to the church being able to help pay a utility bill.
Poore said that the people who are using the box may be struggling to make it from paycheck to paycheck. The church has no surveillance on the box, and it is near the edge of the church property so that people aren’t intimidated and feel free to take what they need.
“We just really feel that if we really leave that in God’s hands, that it will get into the right hands,” Poore said.
Poore said for others wanting to start a Blessing Box, she would recommend making the Box waterproof and sturdy.
Poore also recommended involving the church, from the kids to the adults.
“I just think it’s neat that so many different age groups have been involved in this process,” said Poore. “From our Mission Team, which is made up of younger adults and older adults, to involving the GAs, RAs, Mission friends, and our Women on Mission group.” B&R