Amazing Earth,  Balanced Mind,  Fairhope,  Keeping it Local,  What to Do

What Are the Benefits of the Blessing Box?-Helping in Your Community

Here at Savour, we dedicate ourselves to learning ways to better enjoy our lives and the world around us. And then to share the things we learn with our readers. Living happier and healthier is crucial for our existence. One of the ways proven to increase happiness is through giving. People who give report being happier than those who do not.  In fact, recent studies among donors and non-donors indicate that those who give say that they are 43% happier than those who do not. In addition to the self-reported happiness, the donors also reported feeling less stressed and reduced anxiety- both of which can increase happiness levels.  The act of giving requires a connection between two or more people. This type of socialization makes you feel better about yourself and increases good feelings, which is the essence of happiness. Happiness contributes to good mental and physical health as well. Giving has been found to lower blood pressure, reducing the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Giving can make you feel good by releasing endorphins and producing that same feel-good after-effect which we call the “giver’s high.”

One of the things we love to do is to keep it local. Shop local, travel local, and help locals. Blessing boxes located in your own backyard are a wonderful way to do this. Blessing boxes are little free pantries designed to address food insecurities in communities. They are roadside pantries where people leave groceries and personal hygiene items free for the taking of those who may need them. And they are showing up in neighborhoods all over the United States. One of the benefits of roadside food pantries is that it takes some of the embarrassment out of asking for food. It’s not easy asking for help sometimes. They also can teach your child to learn to give. The mini pantry movement is a grassroots, crowdsourced solution to immediate and local needs. Whether a need for food or a need to give, mini pantries help feed neighbors, nourish neighborhoods, and create a connection with your community.

These are some of the items most donated and used to stock Blessing Boxes:

Canned food with ring-pulls, socks, mittens, hand warmers, crackers, toilet paper, non-perishable foods, bottled water, small snacks, and toiletries, including hand soap, toothbrushes, and toothpaste. Baby wipes, cereal, and granola bars are other options. As well as applesauce and fruit cups. 

If you would like to locate a blessing box near you, visit https://www.littlefreepantry.org/

For information related to the Gulf Coast, visit  https://www.feedingthegulfcoast.org/

To learn more about food insecurity in our area, go to https://map.feedingamerica.org/

Those who leave items are blessed enough to be able to do so, and those who need to take items are blessed that the things are there to take. It is a win-win for both sides and fills a temporary need in our community since food pantries are not always open daily.

Here are a few of the blessing boxes we have discovered in the Fairhope, Alabama, area. 

1. O’Reilly’s Auto Parts on Greeno Road have a blessing box in the back of the parking lot.

2. Fairhope Christian Church near the elementary school.

3. Freedom Church in the shopping center behind Arby’s on Greeno Road.

4. Fairhope Unitarian Church on Fairhope Avenue across the street from the satellite courthouse.

5. Rotary Youth Club on Young Street off twin Beach Road.

If you would like some ideas about building your own blessing box, click here.

For more Balanced Mind articles and Keeping It Local, please follow our blog.

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