PUEBLO — Driving around Pueblo, you might be noticing what resembles large bird houses in front yards lately.
After GT Davis built himself a "Blessing Box" and posted the concept on Facebook, community members from all over town contacted him wanting to get involved. These boxes are essentially public food pantries where people can donate or take non-perishable good as they please.
“I have a long list of people wanting Blessing Boxes and I’ve decided if I they want them, I will build them!” said Davis.
Since Christmas Eve, a total of 10 Blessing Boxes are now spaced out across Pueblo. Serious inquirers email Davis and if they meet the criteria, as well as live in an area that needs the help, Davis builds one freely and donates it to the homeowner.
Jewel Gottschlog is one of the project's most recent recipients and says she was so excited when Davis was installing hers, she was "taking pictures from the window". Davis shares all of the new installations on Facebook and Gottschlog says that her box was completely filled with donations just two hours after being posted.
“I came out and this lady has put a few things here, four things there, then I went back in to get the paint to paint it to water seal it and it was like… THAT!” said Gottschlog, gesturing to her packed pantry. She says that "especially right now, it's all about reaching out and helping each other" and hopes that other people will put in the efforts to build their own boxes, taking some of the workload off of Davis.
Davis says the Pueblo Food Project is doing just that, working with Davis to find people with the woodworking skills needed to build boxes.
Davis has even developed a Google Map to keep the community updated on where the closest Blessing Box is to them. However, Davis says he needs more help in getting the news of the boxes out to those who are hungry.
“There’s plenty of people willing to give the food, that’s not the problem," explained Davis. "It’s getting it to the people who need it, if anyone has any ideas, I’d sure like to hear them!”
Davis says he does not need money to fund the builds, but he does accept donations in the form of supplies. Lately, he has found building boxes more cost-effective if he uses kitchen cabinets that need to be recycled. Davis is constantly updating Facebook pages, like Pueblo West Blessing Boxes, which is not limited to only Pueblo West. Anyone who wishes to donate can contact him there, or via email.