JENISON, Mich — A teen's efforts to become an Eagle Scout are benefitting the community in a big way.
Gabriel Gloria, 17, decided to create two large, white "Blessing Boxes" outside Georgetown United Methodist Church. The cabinets are stocked with essentials to help those in need.
The boxes help to expand the availability and accessibility of the church's Community Cupboard Food Pantry.
"I figured that it would probably be a nice way to help the church and their food pantry program," explained Gloria. "We have canned food supplies, we have cleaning supplies, we've included some toiletries, and some other feminine hygiene products... It's year round, all day, every day. Just a better alternative than waiting select hours for the church pantry, which obviously hours are limited."
Gloria, who is a troop guide for Troop 354 in Jenison, is hoping to complete the process to become an Eagle Scout by fall.
In the meantime, he plans to personally continue stocking the boxes for six months.
"Anyone can come by and use these blessing boxes," he told FOX 17 News. "And this kind of serves as a reminder of hope.... I understand there are a lot of working hard working men and women out there, and they can't necessarily, you know, have the time or the money to pay for things that they really need, you know, especially to get by in days like this. So, I really hope it kind of encourages them, you know, to come by take a blessing, leave a blessing."
The Blessing Boxes are located outside the church at 2766 Baldwin Street, Jenison.