Blue Box Bridges Social Distance (6/1/20)

Posted by on Jun 11, 2020 in EventReport, Ministry: Community & Church, UMW | 0 comments

During the pandemic, our United Methodist Women’s group has placed a cooler by the church’s front door.  They continually keep it stocked with toiletries and other small items that people might need during this shutdown.   Getting to a store, or a Pantry, or even just asking for help can be a difficult thing to do.  The “Soap and Such Mini-Pantry” gives people a way to anonymously obtain essential items when the need arises.


Social Distancing Bridged

It’s sitting on a park bench outside of the church door.  It’s on one end of the bench and the other end of the bench is empty.  In this era of “social distancing,” you can sit next to a box, but you can’t sit next to person.  An empty space on a bench is inviting, but during a pandemic, the empty space might as well be blocked with yellow caution tape.

But God never blocks the way with caution tape.  On the porch, a blue and white box is sitting on one end of the bench like a welcoming friend.

The pandemic and the “quarantine” atmosphere which we’re all enduring can make us feel isolated.  Social Distancing disrupts the web of social support we all need.  Without friends, community, and love from others, we’d all wilt away like a plant in the hot sun.

But the Women of our church have taken on this project to help bridge that gap.  Like a glass of cool water on a hot day, the box provides a taste of God’s immense love to a community struggling under the heat of social distancing.  Sitting on that bench, 24×7, the blue box is guarded only by a sign that says,

Take what you need, share what you can.

Even in this world of masks, 6 feet distances, and hand sanitizer, we still need hugs.  We still need a sense of belonging.  “Take what you need, share what you can” is a reminder that we can still love and be loved.


Soap and Such Mini-Pantry

Through loving donations, the “Soap and Such” box is constantly restocked with items such as soap, shampoo, and toothpaste.  Nothing glorious or exciting, and they are things that you take for granted under different circumstances.  The items are available for anyone who needs them.  If you visit the box, you can donate items, or if you’re in need, you can take what you need.  No questions asked.  No forms to fill out.  Nothing to pay. 


Mini-Pantry for Major Needs

A bar of soap or a tube of toothpaste is a small item.  You can get them at a dollar store.  But if you can’t get out, if you’ve lost your job and you need to find every penny of savings that you can get, this mini-pantry can deliver more than soap.  Even in the turmoil of a pandemic, God still brings order and love to our lives when we seek Him. 

When someone in need opens this blue box, they can be filled with the sense that they’re not alone.  That empty spot on the bench is for all of us.  God is welcoming us into the arms of His love, even as it’s extended by the hands and feet of ordinary people… and by a blue box.




If You Need Help

Where:  Enter the PUMC parking lot on Broadway & Lambs.  The box is under the porch, near the office entry door.

When:  Any time, day or night.

Who:  Anyone!  You don’t have to be a member of PUMC or of any church, and you don’t need to live in Pitman.  As long as you’re in need, the “Soap & Such” box is there for you.

What:  Take only what you need; consider those who may visit after you.  The box is always available for return visits.

If  you need groceries, you are invited to visit the Pitman Food Pantry.


If You Want to Help

IF you are able to help, come by at any time and leave items in the box.  Space is a premium, so avoid large containers.  The box is stocked with items such as bar soap, hand sanitizer, toothpaste/brushes, deodorant, feminine hygiene, and sunscreen.  Sunscreen and feminine hygiene are in high demand.  Please do not leave perishable items such as food or medicine. 

Space is very limited.  If at all possible, please leave items with Staci Scheetz instead of leaving them in the box. 


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