A box full of blessings

'The Blessing Box' filled with food, clothing and other essential items inside located in front of Mason City's Holy Family Church is already getting positive responses

Posted: Feb 12, 2020 1:36 AM
Updated: Feb 12, 2020 9:47 AM

MASON CITY, Iowa - You may have seen little free libraries, where one can pick up a book from a freestanding box that sits in front of one's yard, while also leaving one behind.

Now imagine if there's a kind of box that had food and clothing inside.

It's now reality at Holy Family Catholic Church on North Adams in Mason City. Called 'the Blessing Box', it has canned and boxed food like macaroni and cheese and ravioli, as well as scarves and gloves, soap and other essential items.

Laura Doerfler is part of Epiphany Parish's Social Justice Committee that helped get the box going. She credits another committee member for discovering the concept, and knew that it was something that needed to be created locally.

"There's nothing worse than being hungry. And maybe your head's cold and you're walking, you have no transportation, wherever you have to go you have to walk. So a hat on your head and gloves on your hands, it's great. And something in your stomach to tide you over."

Though it's only been up for about a week and a half, there's already been a strong response.

"One of our members was here, and a gentleman took a hat and gloves, and he thanked the woman that was filling the box that day.

"I came by at 10:30 [Tuesday morning] and filled up the box, came back here at 12:30, and probably half of the things I've put here in the box are gone. I like to be a little fly on the wall and see who came by, but it's great that we're able to help people. That was our goal, and thrilled that they come by and we need to put more things in the box."

The box was designed free of charge by students at North Iowa Area Community College. As of now, the box in front of Holy Family is the only one planned, but more could pop up around town eventually.

For those that would like to donate items for the box, you can simply drop off items inside the box, as well as donation bins inside both Holy Family and St. Joseph's churches in Mason City. 

A suggested list of items include;

Food: macaroni, tuna, soup, canned stew, peanut butter, crackers, bread, small snacks and non-perishable foods

Toiletries: Soap, shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrush, toilet paper, tampons, deodorant and baby wipes

Clothing: Hats, mittens, socks and hand warmers

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 697182

Reported Deaths: 8169
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1427711862
Ramsey59431953
Dakota53075503
Anoka48987486
Washington31228315
Stearns25428242
St. Louis20900339
Scott20039146
Wright18954165
Olmsted16269112
Sherburne13840106
Carver1237052
Clay936897
Rice9278125
Blue Earth888747
Crow Wing8070102
Kandiyohi753292
Chisago733858
Otter Tail689897
Benton6653102
Mower576238
Winona564852
Goodhue560581
Douglas549484
Beltrami534672
Itasca532572
Steele520221
McLeod519665
Isanti500470
Morrison478263
Nobles455650
Becker455060
Polk444575
Freeborn438142
Lyon402454
Carlton399160
Nicollet387848
Pine384026
Mille Lacs363860
Brown358244
Cass355536
Le Sueur348230
Todd333034
Meeker314049
Waseca297626
Martin271633
Wabasha25005
Dodge24865
Hubbard241941
Roseau238224
Houston211217
Redwood206642
Fillmore204510
Renville204248
Pennington196022
Wadena192927
Faribault184925
Sibley180310
Cottonwood179424
Chippewa173439
Kanabec168329
Aitkin159239
Watonwan157211
Rock142919
Jackson136112
Pope13378
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Pipestone126126
Koochiching125119
Swift120319
Murray117610
Stevens110011
Clearwater109218
Marshall107619
Lake94321
Wilkin91014
Lac qui Parle89424
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Big Stone7024
Grant6938
Norman6829
Lincoln6724
Kittson54222
Unassigned52893
Red Lake5067
Traverse4375
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Cook2150

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 443535

Reported Deaths: 6420
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk69441683
Linn26618363
Scott23312265
Black Hawk19397338
Woodbury17483233
Johnson1698692
Dubuque14775221
Pottawattamie13369186
Dallas13048102
Story1211448
Warren707893
Webster6479103
Cerro Gordo6370105
Clinton635898
Des Moines618084
Muscatine5985109
Marshall586981
Sioux547676
Jasper532076
Lee529084
Wapello5230128
Unassigned50150
Buena Vista479442
Marion464086
Plymouth442185
Henry351341
Jones341159
Bremer331365
Washington330454
Crawford326844
Carroll326553
Benton325756
Boone318636
Mahaska282754
Dickinson276547
Kossuth257471
Clay255629
Jackson253844
Tama246073
Hardin244547
Buchanan244238
Delaware240143
Cedar228025
Fayette227945
Page225724
Wright221741
Winneshiek219237
Hamilton216752
Harrison205476
Madison199920
Clayton199758
Floyd195742
Butler191936
Poweshiek188837
Mills188225
Iowa185927
Cherokee184740
Allamakee181152
Jefferson178238
Lyon178041
Calhoun172213
Hancock170336
Winnebago170131
Cass164356
Louisa161651
Grundy161335
Appanoose158149
Shelby156539
Emmet153241
Franklin152224
Humboldt151626
Union149937
Sac147922
Mitchell146143
Guthrie142132
Chickasaw141618
Palo Alto134527
Clarke130226
Montgomery127940
Keokuk121332
Monroe118733
Howard118422
Ida109838
Davis105025
Greene103012
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Monona99034
Lucas98523
Adair97734
Worth9558
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Fremont76511
Van Buren75221
Taylor73412
Wayne66323
Ringgold63027
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