WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – If you’ve been in the Ardmore neighborhood in Winston-Salem, chances are you’ve passed by Ardmore Moravian Church on the corner of Hawthorne Rd and Academy St.

But what you may have not noticed is their new ‘Blessing Box’ outside the church.

The Blessing Box, a wooden cabinet with a glass door, is meant for community members in need to “take what you need, bring what you can,” as a note inside the box indicates to passersby.

According to Head Pastor, Chaz Snider, “the start of the blessing box kind of came from some people in the congregation” hoping to make a small difference in the community by helping some of its members in need.

Terri Kessler, a member of the church, was one of them.

When they first installed the box outside the Academy St entrance, Kessler says she thought, “ This thing is so big, we’ll never be able to keep it full,” but that quickly changed.

“The next thing you know, people started bringing food, and they kept bringing supplies, and the next thing you know, it was full.”

Congregation members received a suggestion list of things that would be helpful to stock the box up with. The supplies range from nonperishable food items to water bottles, gloves and winter hats.

“There’s no list of things that we prohibit from it,” Snider said, “We tried to make it as obvious as we could what kind of supplies and things that we would want based on what’s in there.”

The box is monitored constantly by church staff to make sure everything in it is indeed useful for those in need.

Snider also shared that other local congregations are hoping to join in on the initiative and start a local Blessing Box network, following the concept of the ‘Little Library’ boxes available in some cities.

“One of the most exciting things is that it’s something that we are doing along with the community, that we’re all kind of in it together,” Snider added.

The congregation hopes to change the items in the box to also fit seasonal needs, such as including school supplies next fall and water bottles in the summer.

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