Blessing Box at Vevay Church of Christ: ‘Take what you need, give what you can’

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Many families find themselves at times in an emergency situation when it comes to feeding their children and themselves.

  The church family at the Vevay Church of Christ is hoping to ease that burden for many with the installation of a ‘Blessing Box’ pantry at the corner of Liberty and Market streets.

  The idea of the blessing box came from church member Laura Williams from when she lived in Shepherdsville, Kentucky and her church there took on this project. She brought it to the attention of her new church family here, who ran with the idea.

  Jill Porton is one of the many church members who has taken an active role in the project.

  “It was an idea that we came up with awhile ago, maybe a year ago,” Porton said. “And it’s something that we felt like was a small way that we can help out the community. I know we have another food pantry that does a huge service. This is just to supplement people’s needs. I don’t know if someone is embarrassed to go to a food pantry or not, but if they are, this would help fill in that gap. If anyone needs something on an emergency basis — they don’t have anything to feed their kids tonight — then we hope this helps them meet that need.”

  Porton said that the church is working to keep the Blessing Box stocked with non-perishable, quick meals that people can get and use quickly.

  The Box is located on the southeast corner of Liberty and Market streets facing Liberty Street.

  The Blessing Box, constructed by Samuel Girod, is about the size of a kitchen cupboard, Porton says. It has plexiglass doors so that people can see what’s available for them.

  “As the weather heats up and it gets hotter, we’ll probably begin to rotate things out and focus more on dry goods and things that won’t be damaged by the heat,” Porton said.

  And it’s also something that Porton and the church family hope will become a two-way street for all members of the community.

  “Really the idea is that it would be embraced by the community, where if you have something extra and you want to contribute, that’s great,” Porton said. “If you need something and you need to take a few things, please do. You don’t have to go through our church to contribute to it. It’s sort a community effort. People can leave things or take things as they need to. There’s a little sign on it that says, ‘Take what you need. Give what you can’. That’s the premise behind it.”

  Porton said that the current box is small enough that the church family can manage it; but it’s also big enough that others can contribute to if they want to.”

  And the church family hopes that the idea will spread from here.

  “We have meetings once in awhile to discuss what we can do to make an impact in the community,” Porton said. “We felt like this was something we could move forward with. It’s our hope that this idea will expand. I think it would be great if, eventually, we could find places to put them a few different places in the county, if there’s a good response to it and it’s needed. Hopefully other people and churches and others will see the value in this and create more. This has been a big group effort. We got a huge donation from the fire department. We’ve gotten really good feedback about it. I think it’s going to evolve. A lot of people want to see healthier food items, so we’re just evolving. We just do the best we can, and we welcome any contributions from anybody, and anybody’s welcome to take what they need.”