El Reno churches partner together for blessing boxes
By Amy S. Neathery
The Blessing Box movement has spread to El Reno, bringing blessings of non-perishable food to those in need.
El Reno-Wesley installed the city’s first Blessing Box in July 2018. El Reno-Ellison and Indian Fellowship UMC soon joined in the mission, allowing for the placement of more boxes. El Reno-Wesley then reached out to the local school board and secured locations for five more boxes, bringing the total to eight. A private landowner in a particularly needy area rounded out the current nine El Reno Blessing Box locations.
The idea for the boxes was developed by the El Reno-Wesley mission team, Wesley in ACTSion. Pastor Allen Carson, worked with the pastors of the other churches, but the idea started with the laity. The Boxes have the same mission: to provide non-perishable food and personal hygiene items to El Reno residents in need. They all have the Blessing Box slogan, “Take what you need; leave what you can.”
Several students in the local school district rely on free or reduced breakfast and lunch for their meals, so El Reno-Wesley wanted the Boxes placed where children could walk to them on days when school was cancelled for weather.
All the boxes share the same distinctive white metal design. They were built and donated by a local business owner and philanthropist. Each Blessing Box has “sponsors” who routinely check to ensure the boxes are stocked and free of trash. Food for the boxes comes from multiple sources, including a partnership between El Reno-Wesley and Feed the Children, local church donations, and donations from members of the community.