CHESTERTOWN — Blessings come in all forms. And sometimes the kindest blessings can be the ones you stumble upon during a stroll through town.
That’s the goal for the new Chestertown Blessing Box installed mid-September outside Janes United Methodist Church — that all those in Chestertown feel welcome here.
“It’s showing that we love and care for all people in our community,” the Rev. Emanuel Johnson said in a telephone interview Wednesday, Sept. 30. “We want them to know that we are a caring community and that all people are respected.”
The Blessing Box is located next to the church on the corner of Cross and Cannon streets. All community members are invited to take what they need from the box, Johnson said.
Donations can be made at any time, he said.
Janes’ staff will monitor the contents of the box daily. If the box becomes too full, Johnson said donations may be left next to the box and staff will collect them.
Johnson said its contents will likely vary with the seasons. He expects there may be more fresh produce during the summer months and more self-care items like socks, gloves, scarves and nonperishable food items during the colder months.
The Blessing Box was constructed by Chris Johnson and installed Sept. 15.
Emanuel Johnson reiterated the goal of the box is to make sure everyone who calls Chestertown home feels welcome. He said the box’s installation is meant to build off the momentum started when the “Black Lives Matter” and “We Can’t Breathe” murals were painted on High and Calvert streets, respectively.
He said the Blessing Box was installed “recognizing the difficult times that we’re living in.”
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic necessitated the closure of some institutions that people came to rely on for food like the Community Table. Johnson said he hopes the Blessing Box will help out those who may have utilized those programs until it is safe again for them to be restarted.
Though the box is located at Janes Church, Emanuel Johnson emphasized it as something meant to benefit the entire community of Chestertown.
“It’s a community effort. It’s not solely a Janes effort,” Emanuel Johnson said. “It’s only located at Janes.”