Photo by Pastor Karen Yokota Love
Puyallup Blessing Box
Kheira Bach, a young person at Puyallup UMC in Puyallup, Wash., helped bring her vision of helping those in need with a Blessing Box – a take-what-you-need station in front of her church. So far, it has received a lot of positive attention on Facebook and is seeing a healthy turnaround of goods.
Kheira B.* of Tacoma, Wash., wanted to get clothes, food and other resources to people in need without subjecting them to derision. She had an idea about creating some sort of outside repository for people to get what they needed, but she wasn't sure how to bring it about, according to her first-person account on the Pacific Northwest Conference website.
Then she decided to take her idea to her pastor, Karen Yokota Love, and they congregational leaders at Puyallup United Methodist Church. They loved Kheira's idea, and the "Blessing Box" was born.
Kheira wrote on the PNW website: "At first, I didn’t think having something like a Blessing Box would be possible, due to how some people view homelessness in my neighboring city of Puyallup. I was used to seeing it 'taken care of' by the city when they insisted that the homeless leave the Puyallup River. When our Freezing Nights program at church began, we started having issues with funding and volunteer support. I wanted people to have a real and secure place to go when there was nowhere to turn to. More and more, I would see examples of hardships our homeless community have to go through all year … it really opened my eyes.
"It’s 2017 and I am still actively involved in the community. I simply want to help others and give back, not just for the homeless … for anyone. I am so appreciative of my church’s encouragement and I hope that the Blessing Box will be an inspiration to other communities."
For more information, visit Puyallup United Methodist Church on Facebook, fb.com/PuyallupUMC. *Kheira's last name has been shortened to an initial at the request of her parents for the sake of privacy.