RACINE — Need something take something. Have a little extra, leave it for someone in need.
That is the idea behind a Blessing Box placed in Racine by the Carmel-Sutton United Methodist Church Friendship Circle.
The box is located next to AB&T Auto and Floral on South Third Street in Racine.
Kathy McDaniel and Jackie White, both members of the Friendship Circle, explained that items were placed in the box and some have been taken out, while they have noticed that additional items have been added.
Some of the main items that have been popular in the box have been household items and winter items have also been added.
The soap and fabric softener were some of the first items to go. For the winter months, the group is looking into what items can be in the box which will not be impacted by the cold weather. Information sheets are also being placed in the box to direct individuals on who and where to contact if they need additional help.
The box itself was built by Paul Hayes, while Jason Shain donated a sign for the box.
There are several in the area who are keeping an eye on the box, as well as Friendship Circle members checking on it.
McDaniel and White explained that they were surprised by the excitement around the placement of the box.
Like the blessing box in Racine, one has also been recently placed in Point Pleasant.
The “Blessing Box” in Point Pleasant is the brainchild of Hannah Parsons and Heidi Creamer. Located outside of The Meeting House at 2423 Jackson Avenue, the box contains non-perishable food and personal hygiene items free for anyone needing them.
The Blessing Box will be available 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week for anyone needing a little extra to help them get by, or for anyone wanting to add to the box, according to Parsons. She said the anonymity of the project will take away what some view as an embarrassing situation.
“There are people who can’t ask, who are embarrassed to ask,” she said. “There’s no shame in needing help. At this box, no one knows if you are there to donate or take. There’s no shame, no questions, just be blessed.”
Parsons and Creamer said they are depending on the community to help keep the box filled. Parsons said those who operate The Meeting House will check the dates on the food and make sure it is rotated and fresh. Donations can be canned, boxed, or individually wrapped food; personal hygiene items like deodorant, toothpaste or shampoo; and even during winter months, hats, scarves and gloves.