Lots of gifts this time of year come packaged in a box. This year so do blessings.
Near St. Anne Place and Fowler Street Hobbs residents can find blessings in a box.
Candace Infante and her family have placed a large, purple box called a “Blessing Box” in their front yard for local residents to fill with nonperishable items that residents who are in need can stop by and take what may help them.
“Over a year ago, I had seen a Facebook video of this lady in California that started a Blessing Box,” Infante said. “I thought it was such a wonderful idea. We built a box and the neighbors participated.”
Infante and her neighbors place canned foods, hygiene products, clothing, blankets and toys in the Blessing Box and those who may need those items can take them with no questions asked.
“I just want to help people,” Infante said. “I’ve been in that situation where I’m like I could really use some shampoo, but who do I ask? It’s hard to humble yourself to ask for help. This way there are no questions asked. I don’t go out there and say, ‘Hey, what are you getting out of the box what do you need it for?’ The only thing that I ask is if you ever have too many things come put something in there.”
Infante said she doesn’t have an exact number of how many people go collect things from the Blessing Box, but said many people have thanked her for offering the donations.
“The first person that ever took anything out of the box came and rang my doorbell and asked me what it was for and I explained it to him,” Infante said. “He actually got toilet paper out of the box and the smile on his face was like a child who just got a king-sized candy bar. I knew right then that this was a good thing.”
“I’ve had ton of success stories with people coming to me and saying, ‘I really appreciate this. The only thing I’ve had to eat for the last couple of days was out of your box.’ Or, ‘I’m homeless and I had a job interview to go to and I was able to shave at a Stripes bathroom because you had a razor in your box. I got the job,’” Infante added.
Anyone is welcome to leave donations, Infante said. The items mostly needed included hygiene products and food.
“One of the biggest items that goes really fast is hygiene because people to get state assistance for food, but a lot of people don’t get state assistance for hygiene,” Infante said. “Hygiene (products) is one of the biggest things that people take out of there.”
Infante said clothing, blankets and other items have also been left and taken from the Blessing Box.
“I woke up one morning and there were 10 pairs of shoes lined across there that somebody had put out,” she said. “People have rang my doorbell and have made whole backpacks that have gloves, hand-warmers and blankets and we hung them on there. It is being used and there’s a wide range of people. There’s people that are walking and there are people that are driving vehicles, but all of their needs are different.”
Infante said she would like to have the community get involved not only with her Blessing Box, but have other neighborhoods throughout Hobbs offer Blessing Boxes.
“I would like to see Blessing Boxes in every neighborhood,” Infante said. “I live on the north side of town and there is a big need there and I can only imagine the need on the south side or the east side of town.”
Infante said it cost about $100 to build the Blessing Box. She said the reward of seeing how appreciative people are for the box is amazing and has been great for her family.
“The feeling inside it is amazing not only to see the gratitude from other people, but we also have our children involved,” Infante said. “My children are eight and four and they love this. Anything extra we have or a toy they might not use anymore they go and put it in the Blessing Box. The gift we’re giving them (the children) to outreach to other people, that’s a reward on its own.”