Many people have experienced a time in their life where they need a little help. Perhaps someone is in a situation where a few cans of food or a container of baby formula would make a big difference. Lisa Nichols has experienced times such as these in her life and wanted to do something to help others. She built a Blessings Box, a small structure located outside Musserville Church and stocked with essentials such as toilet paper, baby food and formula, non-perishable foods, toiletries, and other items that might benefit someone in need.

“I saw it [the blessings box] on a talk show, that a lady had put one up in Arkansas and it was helping people, so I thought I would start one here,” said Nichols. The box reads, “We are a beacon of hope and love for all, serving God while serving others. Blessed of God, blessed to be a blessing. Please take what you need and leave a blessing.” The idea is that the box is always open for people to take what they need and leave what they can for others.

Nichols put up the box on Monday, July 31 and saw people using it right away. She posted on Facebook to let the community know it was available and soon after saw items being taken as well as other items being added to the box. Nichols said, “I hope people use it for the right reasons, but even if people aren’t using it for the right reasons, I’m doing my part by putting out there.”

Nichols said she learned at a young age that it was important to help people in need. “My grandmother helped the homeless whenever she could, and she was always talking about helping people,” Nichols said.

Nichols hopes the Blessings Box will be effective and has plans to put up more boxes if the current one does well.

Anyone wanting to help may contact Nichols via Facebook. She asks that if the box is full and someone has items to add to the box, please bring the items back later or contact her and she will hold them until there is room. The box is located outside Musserville Church at 1001 Oregon St in Muscatine.