Do’s, Don’t’s and Suggestions
OUR MISSION IS TO SPREAD GOD’S LOVE BY PROVIDING EMERGENCY HUNGER RELIEF WITH NON-PERISHABLE FOOD TO BRIDGE THE GAP FOR PEOPLE WITH FOOD INSECURITY IN OKLAHOMA.
We believe that we are better together and one of the best ways to impact your local community is to get the community involved. Remember that the box belongs to the community. Some ways to get your community involved would be:
- Start a Facebook page or post to the Nextdoor app (the community will help if they are aware of your needs).
- Consider doing a calendar on your social media page asking for local individuals or businesses to adopt the box for a day/week.
- Consider asking local businesses and grocery stores if you can place empty totes or boxes there for donations of food or toiletry items.
- Let your local churches know about your box.
- Ask the local churches to adopt your box (we have found Sunday school classes and small groups are the best supporters).
- Prayer. Pray over your box and pray blessings over each person involved with your box. (James 5:16)
- Offer Prayer. Place a pen and paper in the box and ask how can I pray for you. We have received some of the most beautiful notes. (1 John 5:14)
- Feed their spirit. Place spiritual material in the box. We are not only feeding physically but spiritually. We are giving them food for their bodies but also food for their souls. Many churches will supply bibles. Ask a local pastor to place his/her card in the box for people to reach out if needed. (James 2:16)
- Set your boundaries and share the load. How many times a day you will fill the box? We suggest twice daily, in the morning and afternoon. We have learned you can fill it ten times a day and it will be emptied. God will send who He wants to be fed that day, trust that His timing is always perfect! (Proverbs 3:5-6)
- Keep water in your box. Even water isn’t free! Convenient stores normally charge for cups.
- Monitor. Watch for ants or pests. We have learned they love the box too! Spray for bugs as needed. Consider spraying at the base of the box when you install it to keep any ants from the surrounding ground from joining your box.
- Cleanliness. Remove any excess food and save it in a pantry area to fill the box at a later time. Remember, if left in the box one person may clean it out completely. This also allows some room for others to donate throughout the day as well. We don’t want to rob them of their blessing of giving.
- Plan. Be sure to ration items. For examples, if you put 10 deodorants in the box, often one person will take them all. Place 1 or 2 of each item in the box so that more needs are met throughout the day.
- Safety. Research your local or statewide resources and keep suicide prevention and domestic hotlines posted in your box at all times.
- Share what God is doing! Share your stories on Facebook or Instagram, and share on our statewide page. We love hearing stories of Blessing Box Angels helping your community and the impact that Oklahoma Blessing Boxes are making.
- Have Peace. Recall Romans 8:28; “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” God allows us to help fulfill His will on this Earth. Remember – we don’t have to do this, we get to do this.
- Don’t take things personal. There will always be needs that the boxes can’t meet alone. If someone is relying too much on the blessing box, talk with them and find out how you can help connect them with agencies who can provide more help than the box can provide.
- Never do home deliveries. Home deliveries are not safe. Good boundaries protect you and others. Blessings boxes are the best place to meet if people in need have contacted you and need food.
- If at all possible, never spend money out of your own pocket. We are blessed to be a blessing. Asking for donations is a way to let people be a blessing to others. Let your community know your needs. God will always send help. Local businesses and grocery stores are a great place to ask for donations. Local Walmarts, Targets, or privately owned business are perfect places to start. Many times, they will donate a monthly gift card to be used for your box to buy food. If you are struggling keeping you box stocked, please let us know. As a community, we help each other.
(Refer to our suggested items page for info on commonly needed food and toiletry items to stock in the box.)
- Ask your local Dentists to donate toothpaste and toothbrushes. They are able to buy in bulk and are often happy to partner with you.
- Encourage people to save hotel soap shampoo and conditioners. Personal sized items are great for the box.
- Coordinate meals as you stock. Be creative! Make a meal. For example, pair together spaghetti sauce, noodles, and green beans, or tuna with tuna helper.
- Split packages when possible. Make it easy for others to grab what they need. For example, put 5 diapers banded together with sizes marked instead of an entire package. The same applies for feminine products. Put a few snacks in at a time, like a box of granola bars or peanut butter crackers. Bundling items in this way helps you reach more people.
- Include wrapped utensils for the homeless. so they could open a package and have utensils to eat. Consider asking a local restaurant to donate some or save them from your take out meals, etc.
- Keep hygiene products in the box. Quite often, all a person needs is to feel refreshed, clean, and accepted. Keeping hygiene items helps them achieve that. At a minimum, keep bars of soap available at all times.