Gilbert, SC (Paul Kirby) – A Lexington County 16-year-old is paying it forward by building and stocking Blessings Boxes in western Lexington County. Audrey Binkley has already installed one near Murray Town at Restore Hope next to IGA. Now, Audrey is having a fundraiser to multiply the blessings by building and stocking more boxes.
Blessing Boxes are much like small, unstaffed food pantries. People build and install them in an open, publicly accessible space, and then fill them with non-perishable food items and necessities like toothbrushes and deodorant. When someone is in need, without any judgment or even having to ask for help, they can stop by and take a few items from the box as they need. If you are blessed yourself, you can also stop and drop things off in the box for others who are less fortunate. Two simple words on the door of the box really sums it up easily, “Be Blessed.”
Audrey says her Grandpa “Pappa Daddy” was the inspiration for the Blessing Box effort. He always made sure no one around him ever had to go hungry. According to the Blessing Box Facebook page, the impact of hunger in her area of the county is already being lessened by the box. Audrey knows this because she’s been busy regularly refilling the one on Augusta Highway. In fact, she stops by every day after school to add what she can to the box.
Some of the money for the items comes straight out of Audrey’s pocket. She makes a meager paycheck working at Subway. Other items have been donations. Anyone is welcome and encouraged to donate nonperishable food items, hygiene products, and other necessities, like clothing, to Audrey’s box.
Audrey is installing another box at Beulah United Methodist Church near the Hollow Creek Fire Station. As more boxes are built and installed, Audrey and her supporters have faith that God will help others rally to support them. In some cases, others are joining her to host an event they hope will raise money for stocking and perhaps building more Blessing Boxes.
Next weekend, Audrey and friends have organized a holiday craft and vendor sale fundraiser for both Blessing Boxes. It will be held on Sunday, November 3rd from noon until 5:00 p.m. at Hollow Creek Community Center. That’s at 2701 Priceville Road between Gilbert and Hollow Creek. For more information, follow the Blessing Box’s Facebook Page at https://www.facebook.com/groups/387725015424248/.