A simple act of generosity often has a powerful impact. Now, one man’s generosity is sweeping his community and taking on a life of its own.
It all began when Robert Espinoza, a 46-year-old Army veteran, took a class at a community college in Watertown, New York. There, he noticed something odd.
The school kept a pantry for students who did not have enough to eat. Espinoza was floored by the idea that adult students might not have enough food at home.
He decided to recreate the food pantry — this time, on his front lawn. Called a “Blessing Box,” this little cupboard is stocked with necessities, such as canned goods for those who do not have enough to eat.
“Whether you’re taking or giving, you can just go to the blessing box. There’s not a lock on it — it’s open 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” he said.
While Espinoza built and filled the cupboard, he rarely needs to restock it. Other members of the community often leave items in the box for those in need.
“The box itself is for the community and it’s sustained by the community. The community, the neighborhood and my block have been really supportive,” he explained.
The little pantry is filled with more than just food. Shampoo, toothbrushes and toothpaste, and soap are also common items.
They’ve taken off in many neighborhoods, with people rallying to keep them stocked and raise awareness about this great idea. There are plenty of posts and videos on social media about these charitable installations.
After much initial success, the desire for more boxes is spreading across the community. Espinoza has “gotten a couple of requests from people around town for boxes for their property,” and more are likely to appear soon.
He believes these boxes “create an atmosphere of support and generosity” throughout his town. He even dreams that “Watertown, New York, in the next five years, could be known as the city of blessing boxes.”
Espinoza proves that a simple act of generosity can have a deep and long-lasting impact. Is there a blessing box in your neighborhood?