Count Your Blessings

Blessing Boxes Provide Help Across the City

People struggling to put food on the table are finding blessings all over Zephyrhills.

Blessing Boxes have been popping up in the community totaling six locations to help provide much needed food and toiletries for those who need it most.

An idea that stemmed from Amie Deford, who helped get the first on established on the property of the Zephyrhills First Church of the Nazarene on 12th Street. Following the success of the first one, she was told that more people need help.

“God said there needs to be more blessing boxes in the community and I need to do this,” Deford said.

That message set the wheels in motion where Deford reached out to area pastors to gain support. Her next step was to put ZFCN parishioner and woodworker Ben Poe to work constructing more Blessing Boxes. Deford secured a donation of lumber from Home Depot.

Blessing Boxes are located at the First Presbyterian Church on 19th Street, Awake Wesleyan Church of C Avenue, First United Methodist Church on Fifth Avenue and at the East Pasco Meals on Wheels’ new location on 15th Avenue. Another has been added at Hatfield’s Country Music and Restaurant on Gall Boulevard.

“It helps so many people,” Deford said. “It is a wonderful testament to when you follow the lead of God.”

Deford had the boxes constructed and placed.  Then the support of the community took over to fill the boxes with food and toiletries.

Kelly Lyle spends several hours per day collecting food from local organizations and filling boxes throughout the community. Lyle saw the need to fill the Blessing Boxes since many other charitable efforts were suspended because of COVID-19.

“It’s worth it,” Lyle said as she packs pasta, cereal, canned meats and other items into the box at the Nazarene Church. “People need this.”

John Palmer rode up to the Blessing Box at the Nazarene Church on his bicycle in hopes to find peanut butter and jelly. While the box did not have exactly what the 61-year-old homeless man needed, he was happy for a box of cereal, canned fruit and some canned meat.

“This has helped a lot of people,” said Palmer. “I know it has helped me. Where I stay has no electricity, so I get powdered milk and cereal. I also put stuff in the boxes when people give me things. I feel since I get helped, I can help when I can.

“These boxes truly are a blessing.”

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