By Steve Coulter
There’s a little red box that just popped up in Union City. Matter of fact, these boxes are popping up in towns all across Oklahoma. What are these boxes and who are they for?
“Take what you need, leave what you can, always be blessed,” reads a sign posted on most of the boxes. The little red box is called a Blessing Box.
A Blessing Box is a small, often homemade box where people leave donated goods for others to pick up anonymously. Located in a prominent area, citizens are filling them with items that will help those in need-everything from non-perishable food to toiletries.
“There’s no application, there’s no form, there’s no red tape. If someone needs food for their family tonight they can go pick something out of the box,” said Oklahoma Blessing Boxes Founder Kim Weaver.
The boxes are full of non-perishable food items like pastas, beans, rice, boxed meals, canned goods, canned meats and canned fruits. They also stock the boxes with toiletries like deodorant, toothpaste, soap and baby items.
But a Blessing Box is also there for some inspiration and hope.
“People come there because their stomachs are empty and we want to be able to fulfill that. But in addition to that-we also want to fulfill their heart and souls. During that chapter they often need more than just food-they need hope. We also put bibles, spiritual books or inspirational books that we purchase with donated funds. We put them in the boxes to hopefully pour some love and hope into their hearts as well,” said Weaver.
There’s a big demand for Blessing Boxes in many communities. The boxes are used regularly by families and children who are hungry in Oklahoma.
“We will have children who come by after school and they know they can stop at that little red box and they’re on their bike on their way home and there will be a bottle of water and package of ramen and they know they’ll have dinner that night. We have more times than you would think-have children coming by and getting their own food actually,” said Weaver.
Because of COVID and oil field layoffs some boxes are emptied out 3 to 4 times a day. There are a lot of families in need right now.
“Hunger has no face. We think we know what that person looks like, but the truth is we don’t. It’s not just a particular location or demographic. Hunger has no face,” she said.
Oklahoma Blessing Boxes is a really great non-profit organization. These boxes would be great for any community to have.
“We place them at community centers that are owned by the city, city buildings, churches and businesses. We’re ready to do them anywhere there is a need. We would love to be able to share them all across the state,” said Weaver.
You can request a blessing box by going online to www.oklahomablessingboxes.org.
“You can go to our website and plug in your location and it will show you the closest boxes to you. Whether you’re wanting to help donate or whether you’re in need of food. The form that you fill out to request a Blessing Box is all online. You can complete the application on the website,” said Weaver.
Oklahoma Blessing Boxes would love to have your help and support. Contact them online if you would like a box in your neighborhood.
“It’s truly somebody sending a message that says hey I love what you’re doing and I have a heart for this,” she said.