‘Take what you need, give what you can’
By SUE SUCHYTA
Sunday Times Newspapers
MELVINDALE – A Blessing Box, based on a “take what you need, give what you can” philosophy, received council approval and will soon be established near City Hall and the Police Department.
Sponsored by the Downriver Widows Sons Motorcycle Association, member Robert Stroud made a presentation to the city council at the July 18 meeting, and following the endorsement of Police Chief John Allen (who was not at the July 18 meeting), the city council supported the motion at its Aug. 1 meeting.
Stroud said a Blessing Box is similar to the little lending libraries that have arisen across the country, operating on the honor system, and relying on informal generosity to maintain its existence.
He said the group seeks to provide charity to the less fortunate.
“What we are proposing is to build the type of donation box for people to use in a time of need, called a Blessing Box,” Stroud said. “It is an easily accessible box, placed near the police station parking lot, that is filled with everyday essentials, whether it be a cup of soup or a package of diapers.”
He said the hope is that the Blessing Box would be self-sufficient.
“In the event of an emergency or just a string of bad luck, it would give residents who have no means for these essential items at the time a helping hand and possibly a little bit of hope,” Stroud said. “We are hoping to place the box by the local Melvindale police station to prevent vandalism and to show people that the police are there when they are in need.”
He said the group would build an aesthetically pleasing Blessing Box, install it and provide the initial supply of donations. He said the box is secured to the ground with a 4-by-4 wooden post anchored in cement.
“This is an attempt for us to give back to the local community, hopefully helping those in their time of need,” Stroud said.
Stroud said this is the group’s inaugural Blessing Box. He said he discovered the concept when traveling recently out-of-state.
He said the members of the group are Masons, who take their charitable duties seriously, as well as the Masonic principles of faith, hope and charity.
He said the group did not speak on behalf of nor represent any specific Masonic body. He said they are not territorial and they do not condone any illegal activities by its members. They do expect its members to conduct themselves in a manner that reflects well upon its organization.
“We support our local Masonic lodges by providing a positive outlet for riding with like-minded brothers of Masonry, while enjoying the fellowship of our fraternal brotherhood,” Stroud said.
(Sue Suchyta can be reached at [email protected].)