The nation is in need of communal altruism now more than ever, and a popular charity trend spurred by Facebook and other social platforms, has been sweeping across communities around the country.
Decaturville First UMC engaged with its neighborhood last summer, offering blessing box & free meals.
Wooden boxes filled with food are beginning to pop up around Decatur County, encouraging residents to take whatever they need. These miniature pantries are called Blessing Boxes and are filled with nonperishable food such as canned corn, pasta, juice and snacks and placed in a highly visible area for pedestrians.
No matter how good life may be, there's always a time when someone needs things in their lives. If we're not helping other people, especially the less fortunate there's really no purpose to life. These boxes are a blessing for those who give as well as those who receive the gifts given to them.
The success of the boxes depends on the generosity of the community around them. The pantries are not stocked regularly, but people can stop by at any time to drop off food, toiletries or other items than can help and allow people struggling to feed themselves or their families. Each box reads: "Take what you need, Leave what you can, Above all else, Be blessed of God"
The motto itself is enough to lift the spirits and feed souls of the weary and broken, and with food to nourish their bodies, this simple box can bring a new outlook into the lives of those who are in need.
"Food insecurity is still a big problem for a lot of people in Decatur County, and there are resources in place to help. But there aren't any emergency food providers right now except for the thinly stretched Shepherds Fund. But sometimes the need is greater than the assistance available and accessible. Food pantries have limits on the number of days you can come by. Sometimes, people might be hungry late at night or early in the morning when no other resources are open.
We are blessed to live in a community where giving comes as second nature to most, and we are given many opportunities to be involved in the giving process.
Blessing Boxes are changing people's lives. The people who visit the Blessing Boxes are blessed, not only by the groceries, but also by the realization that people actually notice their struggle and have taken the time out of their busy schedules to care for them.
The volunteer who brings the food is blessed because they helped someone and it makes them complete. We were meant to care for one another in times of need.
These small acts of kindness are creating ripples across the United States, showing people how something as simple as a canned good can make a difference in a family's life that day.
Memphis Annual Conference website
One of seven apportioned giving opportunities of The United Methodist Church, the World Service Fund is the financial lifeline to a long list of Christian mission and ministry throughout the denomination. Through the Four Areas of Focus churches are engaging in ministry with the poor with their communities in ways that are transformative.