The real purpose of the Blessing Box is to help members of the community who might find themselves in a pinch, but the box in front of the Hillsboro Church of Christ where people can drop off items to help their neighbors has a second purpose, too.
“I had seen it online in some other towns where people tried it and I thought it might be a good outreach for our Little Lamb students to learn a lesson about sharing with their neighbors and the community,” said Donna Waller, administrator of the church’s Little Lamb Christian Preschool, whose students stock the box about once a week with help from Waller. “It’s just an outreach for the kids and the kids love it. The first time they put stuff in it they prayed over it and now about every day they ask me if it’s time to put stuff in the box. It’s been really good for them.
“And maybe it will help some people who are afraid or embarrassed to ask for help.”
The box has a door on front and is open 24 hours a day, seven days week. People can take things from it at any time, and people can also leave items in it at any time. Waller said things that should be left in the Blessing Box include nonperishable food items, tooth paste, tooth brushes, ponchos, umbrellas, things like hats and gloves when the whether is cooler, “or anything someone might need.”
But there are also items that should not be left in it. They include clothing, hand sanitizer, cleaning products or chemicals of any kind, medication, mouth wash, glass bottles, and anything that could be dangerous to children.
Items should fit inside the box and should not be left on the ground beside it.
Waller said the box has been a school goal for most of the school year, but it’s only been open for about a month.
“It’s for anybody that feels a need, and people have been using it,” Waller said. “You always kind of worry that someone will take advantage of it and wipe it out, but so far that’s only happened one time.”
The original Blessing Box is located at 155 W. Walnut St., but Waller said the hope is that the idea catches on and churches or other groups place more of them around town.
“We’re just kind of hoping it spreads so people will have some place to get something if they’re in a pinch,” Waller said.
Waller said community members are welcome to drop something off any time, or they can also make a monetary donation to the church with a note earmarking the donation for the Little Lamb Blessing Box.
Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522 or on Twitter @13gillilandj.