BROWNSBURG, Ind. - There's a new way to give in northeast Hendricks County, thanks to the first of what could be many little pantries.
The people behind Brownsburg Blessing Boxes have set out their first box at 187 Sycamore St. Inside it is food, clothing and other necessities.
The items have been donated by others in town who wanted to help their neighbors who may be in need.
"There’s lot of food banks and churches that give donations but it’s not a 24-7 opportunity," said Amanda Williams, one of the founders of Brownsburg Blessing Boxes. "We thought we’d do something where people could come at their own free will. There isn’t necessarily the stigma or embarrassment of going in front of other people to get the stuff that they need. It also gave people an avenue to drop stuff off for the needy.”
Items have been getting collected at three area businesses:
- First Merchants Bank
- Rock Star Pizza
- Wylie's Ice Cream Shop
Williams said eventually the drop-off sites will go away, and people can take a donation straight to a blessing box. They could return around the holidays for a food drive to help replenish the group's food supply.
So far, donations total close to a value of $500. That includes shingles and wood to assemble more boxes.
"There’s a lot of support from the community," said Donna Stout, another founder of the group. "People want to know where the locations are and add to the boxes and support the boxes. They’re taking ownership.”
The first box was sponsored by the Brownsburg chapter of Tri Kappa. Four other organizations have committed to sponsoring the next four that are built.
The group is still securing locations for those boxes. It's targeting areas around schools, with the hope they'll go in the group in the spring.
"If the kids haven’t had a breakfast or missed out, maybe mom or dad went to work, they can open up a box and pull out some Pop Tarts or something like that," said Stout.
The first five boxes should cover each side of town and a central location. From there, the group would like to eventually add boxes to every Brownsburg neighborhood.