The seventh Cabarrus County Blessing Box has been added to the area; it's the second in Kannapolis as of Thursday afternoon.
This box is at Fire Station 1 at 300 Firehouse Drive. The first box was placed in the city at the Cabarrus Health Alliance and has been there for the last several years. It is the most active of the seven boxes.
Sheryl Kluge, founder of 1Can and the creator of Cabarrus Blessing Boxes, held a ribbon-cutting for the box along with Kannapolis Mayor Darrell Hinnant and Deputy Fire Chief Kirk Beard on Thursday.
“In today’s age, with COVID, there’s a lot of people suffering from (food) insecurity that have never had to deal with that issue before, and so they’re at a loss with what to do,” she said. “So this is a very easy resource.
“Many of our families are working … and they may just need a little occasional help in between paychecks.”
Kluge’s goal when starting the Cabarrus Blessing Boxes was to be able to provide food for those in need and give community members a chance to help out if they could.
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Blessing Boxes have been extremely active and community members have been generous in their giving. This is the second box dedicated in the last month, along with one at Rotary Square in Concord.
There is a need for help in Kannapolis, though, as is evident with how active the box at CHA is, and Hinnant is happy his residents have been offered another chance to lend a helping hand.
“Kannapolis has had a reputation in the past of people helping people, and so this is all about that,” he said. “It’s really stop by and drop off something so somebody else can stop by and pick up something when they need that.
“This really lends to what Kannapolis is known for, so I say again, thank you for building this and making sure this is attractive and ready to go.”
The box at Fire Station 1 was built by CK Select Real Estate.
“We are just happy that we are blessed that we can do stuff like this,” said Cindy Hanson, CK Select Real Estate Broker. “To give back to our community is really important not only for myself and Kirk (Hanson), but for our whole organization.
“There’s constant conversation within our office about how we can give back to our community, and I believe everyone who works with us at CK Select Real Estate really works hard to do that and be a part of the community for that.”
Brittany Craig is also a broker at CK Select Real Estate, and she actually took the time to decorate the box after her grandfather built it.
“We’re just thankful that we had the opportunity to do this,” Craig said. “It was fun to build it, I’m really excited with how it turned out, and I’m really happy about what it’s going to provide for families around the area.
“I just hope this will inspire more people around the area to do it and get the word out.”
It took a while to put the box into place at Fire Station 1. It was originally supposed to be done more than a year ago, as a local Girl Scout Troop was planning on building and decorating it, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Scout Troop was unable to meet, so they were not able to proceed with their plan.
Another person stepped in to build it, but that fell through as well.
But seeing the finished product on site made the entire process worth it for the fire chief.
“We’re just glad we finally got to this point,” Beard said.
He continued: “It’s just a really neat concept, and as (Mayor Hinnant) said, we want to get the word out, make sure everybody knows about it, and we hope to get a lot of traffic through here.”
Anyone can take items from any of the seven Blessing Boxes throughout Cabarrus County, but the community is also encouraged to give. If anyone has the capability of helping others right now, those who care for Blessing Boxes around the county would be happy to accept that help.
1Can is also planning to do a Holiday Meal Kit giveaway this year, with the hopes of providing meals for those in need who might not be able to do a traditional family meal without help.
The organization is still accepting donations for those willing. To help, call Kluge at 843-330-0525 or email email@example.com.
“Cabarrus, Rowan County, far and wide, the generosity of people in these communities have kept these boxes going,” Kluge said. “I put out an ask on Facebook, and I have hundreds of responses coming in asking, ‘What do I need, and where can they drop it and how can they help?’”
She continued: “I’m forever grateful.”
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