In a normal year, the members of Dallas Country Area Retired School Personnel Association (DCARSPA) support local causes with donations at their monthly meetings. This year, however, due to coronavirus restrictions, they have not been able to meet, but they are still supporting those causes.
During the first week in November, members were urged to drop off donations to fill the Blessing Boxes located at the Dallas County Hospital and Panther Corner at the home of DCARSPA member Karen Einck. Almost 175 items were collected, and DCARSPA members Sue Kimpston and Julie Tibbles filled the Blessing Boxes Tuesday morning.
The donated items include cereal, macaroni and cheese, ramen noodles, soup, vegetables, hamburger and tuna helper, as well as shampoo, toothpaste, soap and other personal care items — including PPE. There were even books and children’s shoes.
Depending on the weather, things that have to be kept cold or even frozen can be left during colder months as nothing lasts long in the Blessing Box.
According to Kimpston, “The need is great, and $50 to $100 worth of food may last only a few hours and is routinely gone within 24 hours.”
As if to illustrate the truth of Kimpston’s statement, only minutes after the Blessing Box at the DCH was filled, a young man pulled up and selected several items.
The Perry Blessing Box was handmade by the late Joe Warnock and Dr. Steve Sohn, and Tom Peterson of rural Perry built the Blessing Box at Panther Corner. “Give Freely. Take Freely.” That is the common refrain with Blessing Boxes. The one at the Panther Corner says, “Take what you need. Leave what you can.”
There are Blessing Boxes found throughout the U.S., in both large communities and rural areas, bringing small blessings to people with great needs. Little Free Libraries may have been the original inspiration for Blessing Boxes.
Sue Leslie is the secretary of the Dallas Country Area Retired School Personnel Association.