Vandals hit Wichita ‘blessing box’ 3 days after installation

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Who would damage one of Wichita’s newest blessing boxes?

“Sad. I mean it’s just nonsense,” said Villa Boxing Coach Rene Montes.

That was Rene Montes’ reaction on Monday morning when he found out the blessing box, a little pantry serving the Planeview community, had been vandalized.

“It was just all the way down. The bottom board broke away like they pulled it down like this,” Montes explained.

The blessing box was donated by creators Maggie Ballard and her son Paxton on Friday. The boxing gym even held a grand opening ceremony for the box.

“Maggie and her son, they have an awesome, amazing idea. Once I seen it, I said we have to have one in front of the boxing gym,” said Villa Boxing Coach Jacob Villa. “This is one of the things that we teach the kids and show them that no matter what, no matter how bad you think you have it, somebody else got it worse.”

“It’s for a good cause, to help people out and. you know, that’s why we did it,” Montes said.

That’s also why the men at the gym fixed the box, the same day they realized it had been vandalized.

“Some people look at it as a bad thing, but it’s a box. It can be rebuilt, you know, they can’t stop what we are trying to do. It doesn’t work that way,” Villa said.

Montes said when got the news the box had been damaged, he immediately dropped what he was doing, drove to the gym and put the box back together. While Montes said he hopes he doesn’t have to do it again, he’s ready for a rematch should there be one.

“Hopefully they don’t come back and do it again. If they do, I will fix it again,” he said.

The first blessing box was installed in Wichita’s Riverside neighborhood in October of 2016. Maggie Ballard said she expects there to be a total of 19 blessing boxes throughout Wichita and a couple of other states by the end of the summer.


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