On Sunday, December 2, the parish community at Saint David’s on-the-Hill formally dedicated their newest community resource, a Blessing Box. A Blessing Box allows a passerby to either take an item from the box or to leave a blessing for others in the box. The Blessing Box has been installed in front of the church and has been filled with items for those in need such as socks, hats, gloves, non-perishable food items, and toiletries. The Blessing Box was made possible from a Community Builders Grant from OneCranston, an initiative of CCAP and is in line with OneCranston’s mission of social cohesion and of neighbors connecting with each other and helping each other.
Present at the dedication, which was moved indoors due to inclement weather, were Mayor Allan Fung, Senator Hanna Gallo, and OneCranston’s Ayana Crichton and Cait Blankenship.
Parishioner Joe Hutnak called all to gather together for the ceremony and thanked everyone for coming together for the dedication ceremony. Reverend Andrea Castner Wyatt welcomed guests to the event and opened with a prayer officially dedicating the box that will help the parishioners share their blessings with their neighbors.
“The Book of Proverbs tells us, ‘Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, and will be repaid in full,’” Castner Wyatt said. “Today, we gather to dedicate our Blessing Box, a place where we may offer support to those who need it and continue to fulfill our ministry of outreach to our community. We gather to thank those who provided their skills and effort to create this new space, and we pray for those who will find some small measure of comfort in their need.”
Mayor Fung’s greetings followed those of Hutnak and the Reverend. He thanked the parish for inviting himself and Senator Gallo to the event, which will benefit the entire community. He also thanked Crichton and OneCranston for their work supporting building up a better community. “Not two sides of Cranston, but one Cranston where we’re helping one another,” he said. “This is a great example of what we can do because what we see as public officials is that there is so much need within our community, even in Cranston and even in this neighborhood. One makes these assumptions but there is a lot of need out there. Having a blessing box like what you’re providing provides a lot for any of our neighbors and I can’t thank you all enough for putting this initiative together.”
Senator Gallo also expressed her thanks and appreciation and echoed the mayor’s sentiments describing the need that exists within all parts of the Cranston community.
“It’s all about community and it’s all about us coming together to help those who need it,” she said. “Right up the street is a homeless shelter. It breaks my heart to see them walking by all the time. I’m sure that it won’t take any time at all for them to find out that it’s there.” Gallo also noted that she likes the idea that she can drop off items right in the neighborhood to help out those in need.
“I am so looking forward to this, and I think all of us working together, it makes me feel good knowing that we are going to be helping other people,” she said. “Thank you for letting me be a part of this and I am so proud to be here.”
Crichton greeted the group and expressed her gratitude for the project.
“I am so happy to be here today and I am so pleased that St. David’s applied for the grant because we really do want to bring everyone together and have one Cranston and have all of the residents help each other out. That’s really the focus of our initiative. We’re very excited that you all were one of the first awardees and we love seeing what has come out of this project, and we look forward to expanding this and making everybody feel that they are welcome, they are a part of, they are Cranston. Thank you very much for being a part of this.”
The Blessing Box was stocked with the items donated at the ceremony and neighbors can continue to leave blessings inside for those in need.