Our Opinion: Be a blessing; help stock the boxes

Friday, August 31, 2018
Early afternoon on Aug. 28, the Blessing Box in Linton was empty. After a Facebook post, requesting donations, it was filled by the end of the day. The constant influx and depletion of the Linton and Jasonville boxes show there is a great need in the area.

Earlier this year, volunteers made the first Blessing Box in Greene County a reality, with a second location not far behind. Based on the influx and frequent depletion of items at both locations, it shows an obvious need for such a resource.

Notice we said the words “need” and “resource,” but not amenity. These resources are more than just desirable or useful. They are helping families get through the week and ensure people are not going hungry.

Earlier this week, one of our staff stopped by the box in Linton and saw it was completely depleted. She dropped a couple items in and used social media to get the word out that the box was completely empty.

Within hours, the box was completely filled again with the help of a generous community, but people on social media were putting down some of the users instead of helping lift them up. Sure, that’s not outside the norm for social media to be a source of negativity, but these are people who must have never wondered what it’s like to literally scrape for change to find your next meal.

We learned people have been trying to “tattle” on those who are “abusing” the box. If someone is stopping by the box frequently, obviously there is a need. But, as one of the Blessing Box organizers put it, now people are face-to-face with the need and they don’t know what to do with that information.

Local food pantries and other organizations offering assistance have a close-knit group of volunteers to make sure the programs are successful. They constantly see the need and ask for the community’s assistance. People don’t usually see the intense need (and subsequent hard work) these organizations face in the community, until now.

When the first box was put up in Linton, located at 340 G St. NE, organizers said it was a perfect spot because it is in a well-lit, but discreet location. If you stop by the box, it would be hard to tell if you’re dropping off or picking up items.

Jasonville’s location, at 146 W. Main St., offers a safe spot for those in need to stop by to pick up or drop off.

A local woman offered her testimonial to the Linton Blessing Box’s Facebook page, explaining she doesn’t like to need to use the Blessing Box, but is glad the resource is there when she’s struggling and needs to feed her kids.

This person said she works more than 40 hours a week, but still finds herself struggling and has found herself utilizing the resource.

“I see so many comments on here about people abusing the Blessing Box or taking more than they should, and I want you all to pause a moment and think what it’s like to pull up to that box,” she said.

Seriously, take a moment to consider that feeling. It can feel like defeat, or maybe relief because sometimes life is downright difficult no matter how hard you try.

“I think those of you that are blessed to not worry where your next meal is coming from need to pause and thank the Lord above. Not all of us that need help are deadbeats.”

As a way to continue supporting the Blessing Box and those who are in need of help, local businesses have stepped up to sponsor both the Linton and Jasonville boxes. These people will be in charge of keeping an eye on the box, and possibly hosting their own food drive to stock up when needed. The Greene County Daily World will be sponsoring the box in October.

Keep an eye on the Blessing Box Facebook pages (Linton, Indiana’s Blessing Boxes and Jasonville, Indiana Blessing Box) to see how you can be a blessing to someone in need.