The sisters of Mother of Perpetual Hope Convent, living the ministry of presence in the Piety Hill neighborhood of Detroit, MI, had been searching for a way to care for the steady stream of marginalized people who regularly pass through their neighborhood.
Ever since moving to the city, Sr. Mary Francis Lewandowski wanted to establish a blessing box. This turned out to be the perfect fit. At the beginning of the pandemic, Sr. Felicity Marie Madigan and her friend John built and installed a Deo Gratias box in the front yard of the convent. The box contains portable foods that can be eaten in transit, as well as hand sanitizer, face masks, and small hygiene products.
The inscription on the front reads, “Take what you need. Give what you can. Above all be blessed!”
The concept caught on and, before long, it became a neighborhood project. People began helping the sisters keep the box full. Not only did they add food to the box, but also bibles and holy cards.
Recently, someone left a note thanking the sisters for helping them during this difficult time of the pandemic when so many are out of work.