YOU should spearhead a blessing box project, yes you! Let me explain why …
I have been obsessed with the idea of creating blessing boxes for a while now.
Let me start at the beginning; what is a blessing box?
A blessing box is very similar to a lending library. It is a wooden box that is placed in the community, usually in an area with a lot of foot traffic. The box is filled with donations of non-perishable food items, and other necessities like toothpaste, warm hats, and hand sanitizer.
Anyone can donate, but more importantly, anyone can access the goods inside the box. It is basically a super local food pantry that is filled with items donated by members of the local community.
To understand my obsession with creating these boxes, we have to hop back to my childhood for a minute. I was raised by a single mother who worked hard to make ends meet. We still struggled, and I went without basic necessities much of the time.
Back in the present, I listen as parents struggle to educate their children during virtual learning while also keeping them clothed and fed. COVID has hit so many so hard, especially places like my kids’ school, which is made up of more than 50% low-income kids.
COVID has given me flashbacks to my younger days when I would walk to school with no breakfast and beg friends for their change to purchase lunch.
So I decided it was time to stop thinking about the blessing boxes. I decided to stop lying in bed feeling unfulfilled, sad, and unimportant. I decided I needed to take action. I reached out to a neighbor who had helped me with one of my crazy schemes for Giving Tuesday. “Wanna help me with a project?”
She was all in and super excited about the idea. I won’t bore you with all the details, but emails were sent, posts were made in our neighborhood group, and EVERYONE was on board!
My living room is overflowing with boxes, and another neighbor has been building furiously. We will install the boxes this month, and we have food and necessities to fill them for a long time!
Turns out I wasn’t the only one feeling the way I felt. Everyone from the superintendent to my next-door neighbor felt the call to help.
So what should you do if you want to start a box? I will walk you through the steps we have taken:
- Reach out to whoever owns the location where you’d like to place the box. We emailed the school superintendent, as we will be placing a box at each of the schools in our district. You can send them this article if you need help explaining!
- Build up a base of people who want to help. We have an active neighborhood Facebook group, so I was able to quickly get lots of people on board. But you can use whatever networks you have. Think church groups, the parent groups at the school, or people from work.
- Take up a pool or call around to local businesses to get supplies for building the boxes donated. Again go through your networks to find someone who is willing and able to build the box. We used the blueprint in THIS post.
- Create an Amazon wishlist— you can see ours HERE 😉 . We used Amazon because the process is VERY easy. We filled the list with the items we wanted to put in the boxes. I made it so that the items don’t leave the list, so I don’t have to keep refilling it. I will edit the list with anything that doesn’t seem to be wanted from the box.
- Share your list with your networks, don’t be shy about sharing on your social media; we have had people from all over the country donate using the list.
- Install your box and fill it up. We have created a schedule and an inventory list, so we will have someone checking the box often and refilling the items. We have also created a flyer with a special email address so people can request specific items and reach out to us with questions.
Helping others is a choice we can all make, and if we do it together, we will make the world a better place, one act of kindness at a time!