Woman creates ‘Blessing Box’ to help others in need

Published: Jul. 7, 2020 at 9:43 PM EDT
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CHESTERFIELD, Va. (WWBT) - On Watchhaven Lane in Chesterfield, under a tree, you’ll find a “Blessing Box,” that was heaven sent.

Lucy Hicks lost her son Michael right before his 35th birthday in 1997. He had epilepsy and died from a seizure.

“All through the years, I wanted to do something to keep his memory alive. He had such a giving heart. He would do this, he definitely would do this,” says Lucy Hicks.

The Blessing Box is an outdoor pantry filled with non-perishable items for anyone in need - no questions asked.

A stranger came up to Lucy at his funeral and said, “I didn’t have money to buy my son shoes for school, and Mike came up and gave me $50.”

Lucy says, “that’s just who he was, that was the inspiration for the box.”

Lucy’s neighbors, Teresa and Tom Burris built the box for her. They too experienced an unexplainable loss. Their 20-year-old daughter, Nikki, died in her sleep. Now, her name is next to Michael’s, on the urn that sits on top of the blessing box.

This desire to help others, which was born out of so much heartache is growing. On Dorius Drive, you’ll find another Blessing Box that belongs to Lois Withers, with directions in English and Spanish.

She and Lucy became friends online and worked together to spread the love.

“My neighborhood is diverse and I wanted people to feel welcomed, and I want people to feel like they can come and take what they want. What Lucy and I are trying to do is bridge a gap between somebody not getting a paycheck and being able to feed their family,” says Withers.

Millions are unemployed and the pandemic is making it difficult to put food on the table. That’s an issue that hits close to home for Lois and her husband.

”I have been food insecure before and it doesn’t matter in what period of your life you are. It’s just that people helped us and people were there when we needed help,” says Withers.

NBC12 wanted to make sure the blessings would continue, so we surprised Lucy with $300 and a $50 gift card to Mexico Restaurant.

Lucy says she has plans to donate the money to a local food bank where her daughter works. She says they can stretch a dollar and make an even bigger impact.

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