Wichita ‘blessing box’ gets international attention

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – A Wichita family’s blessing box is garnering international attention.

KSN first shared Maggie Ballard and her 6-year-old son Paxton’s story in November, shortly after they installed the blessing box, or mini-pantry, outside their Wichita home.

The blessing box is filled with donated food and hygiene products.The idea is people can take an item when they need and leave an item when they can.

“You put food in there for homeless people,” said Paxton. “Because they don’t have enough money to buy food from the grocery stores.”

Since KSN’s November story about the blessing box, Ballard said she has been inundated with calls from reporters and people wanting to create their own blessing boxes.

“I mean literally from Georgia, back east, California, like different places wanting to know how we did it,” said Ballard.

Ballard and Paxton’s blessing box has been featured on Buzzfeed, The Huffington Post, AOL and HLN.

“I have heard from the UK. This morning it was mentioned on Bobby Bones,” Ballard said. “My whole thing was to raise awareness and to help people along the way and it sounds like that’s what’s going on.”

It’s true. Since the story went viral, donations have been pouring in. On Wednesday, one woman stopped by Ballard’s house with bags full of food.

“We will check it before we go to bed and when we get up in the morning and it’s like completely packed full where you can’t even empty it, so it’s not just being used for people to take, they are dropping things off as well,” she said.

KSN asked Paxton what the blessing box means to him.

“Happy!” he said.

Paxton’s elementary school is also getting involved in the project. Paxton says his classmates will bring him donations to put into the blessing box.

The box is located at 911 West 13th Street North. You can’t miss it.