The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Clovis resident erects 'blessing box' near home


October 21, 2018

Jamie Cushman

David and Janice Lopez with the blessing box located outside there home at 2004 Cameo St.

CLOVIS — One Clovis resident is proving that with some wood, a few screws, a drill and a big heart you can feed the hungry or simply lift a spirit.

Anyone driving past 2004 Cameo St. in the past week may have seen the "blessing box" now located in the front yard, stocked with various food and hygiene items for anyone to take.

While Janice Lopez said the blessing box idea was something she saw on the photo-sharing website Pinterest, the concept of helping the needy goes back to something her grandmother taught her.

"My grandmother always had a big heart and always helped the poor and she told me, 'If you can't feed everyone, at least feed one,' and that's just always resonated with me and I've always just wanted to help anytime I can," Lopez said.

Lopez said with the help of her husband, the blessing box was built and has been active for about a week.

Initially she stocked the box with some food items and everyday necessities like shampoo and detergent, but soon her neighbors were bringing over more boxes and cans and her children brought home from school bags of food that their friends' mothers put together for the box.

"It's just been a variety of food items and as they've been filling, people have been taking. ... So it's great to see the ones that are donating but also the ones that are in need of it. It's going both ways," Lopez said.

While she has not heard from anybody who has been using the box for food, Lopez said she heard second-hand that a friend of a friend was cheered by the message "take what you want, give what you can, above all be blessed," written on the blessing box.

"He was having just a rough week. He was down in the dumps and he passed by the house and he saw this blessing box," Lopez said. "He said that's what he needed to hear. It wasn't necessarily the items in there that he needed, but the message. And he said that just lifted his spirits to know that there was still good out there."

Blessing boxes have become a bit of a national phenomenon over recent years. One Facebook page with over 11,000 likes features images and stories of blessing boxes from numerous states all over the country including California, North Carolina, Oklahoma, West Virginia, Kentucky and Ohio, with over 100 boxes posted in the last year alone.

The boxes are located at churches, volunteer organizations or just outside private homes, like on Cameo Street in Clovis.

Lopez thanked the community for its support in getting the blessing box idea off the ground and making an impact for those in need locally.

"At first I initially thought that I was just going to be the one putting in but now the community actually came together and they've been filling it up as well, so that's awesome," Lopez said. "Just helping one another as a community, just helping your neighbor out."


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