I was on Facebook one day and saw a picture and explanation of a "Blessing Box." It was similar to the little libraries we see all over, but the focus of the Blessing Box was to put items (food, personal items, cleaning supplies, toiletries, etc.) in there that people could just take as needed. Donations could be put in the Blessing Box as well. I just loved this idea and thought it might be something St. Peter's could do.
Next I went to Fr. Marcus Cunningham with the idea, and he took it to the Vestry to discuss. The Vestry approved it! I am a member of Thrivent Financial, and as a member we are allowed and encouraged to do two Action Teams a year. An Action Team is planning some type of event that helps others in your community. Thrivent encourages each member to think of the ideas for events to help others in the community. The Action Team, if approved, is given a $250.00 Visa card to use for the planned event plus Live Generously t-shirts and other items to advertise the Action Team. The initial Action Team I applied for was to purchase the materials to make the Blessing Box and purchase food items if there was any leftover money. And my Action Team was approved!
Fr. Marcus, with the help of St. Peter's members designed and built our Blessing Box! I then had someone build a sign to put on our Blessing Box. Since the box was put up, I have applied for additional Action Teams for the Blessing Box, including soup Blessing Bags and Blessing Blankets. Our ladies at church had a Blessing Box Baby Shower, in which members could bring in items for babies such as diapers, clothes, bottles, and more. Then these items were available for those in need to take with them. This was in honor of one of our members who recently had a baby.
Also, Sister Charis of the Sisterhood of the Holy Nativity applied for a grant from the Webster Foundation in Ripon for the Blessing Box. The $550.00 received was used to purchase Blessing Box backpacks filled with school supplies for children in need. St. Peter's Vestry also agreed to give us up to an additional $300 to purchase more backpacks and school supplies since we had so many requests. We gave out about 55 backpacks to families from Ripon, Berlin, and other areas. The families were very appreciative to receive the backpacks. And by the way, non-members of St. Peter made donations of backpacks and school supplies so we could help even more!
The Blessing Box has been just that......a great blessing! The members of St. Peter's have found a way to make an impact in our community. We are helping those who need it, when they need it. God is so good, all the time!
If you have any questions about the Blessing Box at St. Peter's contact Sarah Geisthardt through St. Peter's office at (920) 748-2422 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sarah Geisthardt is a member of St. Peter's Episcopal Church, Ripon