Blessing Box – Grassland Community Church

Blessing Box – Grassland Community Church

Brittany Hall

The Ashland Beacon

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                This time of year, people are more apt to give and be mindful of giving. We look for red buckets, angel trees, and other avenues to help someone or a family in need. We give an extra smile, buy an extra gift, volunteer around the community, and maybe even put a little extra in the plate at church. It’s those moments that we realize just how blessed we truly are and to be able to bless someone else in return – is just icing on the holiday cake! And, blessing someone who may be in need is exactly what the congregation of Grassland Community Church wanted to do.



                We’ve all seen them – stations around the community with food, personal items, and clothing for those who need a little extra help but want a discreet way of receiving. They’re called Blessing Boxes, and they have proven to be a great source for those who need them and those who may not know of another way to give. We mostly see them in the cities or areas where they will be better seen or have a higher homeless and in-need population. Grassland wanted to bring that same sentiment to a community that is more rural and may be unable to access those stations.

                It all began when Pastor Kyle Vanover challenged his congregation to “be on mission” throughout the year, back in January of 2023. What is the mission? Pastor Kyle stated, “The mission is to share the love of Jesus with as many people as possible.”  A small group was formed to discuss ideas after consulting a book called Across the Street and Around the World by Diana Davis and Autumn Wall. Through that small group, they decided that one of the best ways to tackle a need of food insecurity within their community was to build a Blessing Box on the grounds of the church. Two men from the church, Danny and Ben, volunteered to construct the box. They built, painted, and installed the box for the church. “I told the congregation that we needed nonperishable food items, personal hygiene items, seasonal appropriate clothing and anything that may be a blessing to someone else. We want the community to know that we are here for them, that we love them, and Christ does, too.”

                According to Pastor Kyle, the Blessing Box was one of many ideas the small group had, but once it was decided that this would be happening, he took it before the church and began a drive for donations for the box to be filled upon completion. “This isn’t just a seasonal or Christmas thing. The box will be up all through the year, and anyone will be able to use it – no charge, no judgment, nothing to sign up for. We just want to be a blessing to the community.” Pastor Kyle also mentioned that a special offering would be collected on Christmas Eve to build a pantry to stock items specifically for the Blessing Box. “Our Christmas Eve offering has always been missions-focused, and this year we chose our Blessing Box ministry as our missional focus. In the past, we have chosen to support ministries overseas and at other times, ministries in the U.S. But, our own backyard is a mission field, too.” The tag line written inside the Box says, “Take what you need, leave what you can, and know that you’re loved.”

                The Blessing Box at Grassland is available to anyone at any time. Pastor Kyle shared that you don’t even need to be a member of the church to add items. Grassland Community is located at 17839 Bear Creek Rd. Catlettsburg, KY 41129. They can be reached by phone at 606.928.9219 and even have a Facebook page at Service times are as follows: Sunday School at 9 a.m., Sunday Morning Worship at 10 a.m., and Wednesday night Bible Study at 6:30 p.m. All are welcome.

                Statistically throughout Kentucky, there is an estimated 3,984 people who are suffering from homelessness according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in a 2022 article. In 2021, there was a poverty rate of 23% in Ashland alone, which was higher than the national average of 12.6% at the time. In the same year, all of Boyd County had a poverty rate of 17.6%. Even though there are fewer homeless in Ashland and Catlettsburg, the number of those in need of food and clothing is rising. Grassland is just one of many resources around the area available to those in need.

                If you or someone you know is in need, please contact the church or one of the following resources in the Ashland area:

CAReS – 2516 Carter Ave. Ashland, KY 41101 / 606.324.2949

The Neighborhood – 2516 Carter Ave. Ashland, KY 41101 / 606.327.5677

Shelter of Hope – 1625 Greenup Ave Ste 1. Ashland, KY 41101 /  606.324.6700

Salvation Army – 2212 Carter Ave. Ashland, KY 41101 / 606.329.2874

Ashland Community Kitchen – 2516 Carter Ave. Ashland, KY 41101 / 606.325.8144

River Cities Harvest – Same address as above / 606.324.3663

United Way of Northeast Kentucky – 2000 Carter Ave. Ste D. Ashland, Ky 41101 / 606.325.1810

Hillcrest-Bruce Mission – 1819 Eloise St. Ashland, KY 41101 / 606.324.5723

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