PAVILION — It’s not hard to understand just how tough times can be.
So when Lisa Shiske got some extra money and a request to use it for good, her mind turned to helping people struggling to get basic necessities.
The idea gained traction and has resulted in a new blessing box at St. Mary’s Church.
“Way back when, like 23 years ago, that movie came out, ‘Pay it Forward,’” Shiske said. “It always kind of stuck in my mind … I always kind of had the idea in the back of my mind but I wanted to make sure I had a plan in place before I could present it to anybody.”
Shiske presented the idea to Rev. Michael LaMarca, pastor of the family of parishes that includes Mary Immaculate. He liked the idea and posed it to parishioners shortly before a meeting, saying a builder was needed.
Fellow parishioners Elaine Lemley and Mark Moodie reached out a few hours later, offering to do the work.
“When I explained to them there was $200 in a budget for this, they said, ‘No, we’ve got our own material for this in our own workshops’ and that touched me even more,” Shiske said.
LaMarca suggested the $200 be used to purchase some food items and other basic supplies. They decided to post the box at the church property, since sidewalks are nearby in Pavilion. The location also includes a prayer box where people can submit prayer requests.
“There’s a need everywhere and it’s not just about food,” Shiske said. “It’s your need for prayers or if you want to give something yourself. Maybe this symbol of a pantry might make you think twice and want to do something … It’s much more than food in my eyes.”
The blessings box encourages people to take what they need and give what they can — no questions asked. It was dedicated formally two weeks ago.
It’s asked that food donations be non-perishable.
“Pavilion is located in a very rural part of Genesee County and is on the border of Wyoming and Livingston counties,” LaMarca said. “Sometimes those in the more rural areas are in need and they cannot get to larger communities like Batavia or Geneseo for assistance, so hopefully this will provide some support for them.”
The family of parishes that includes Mary Immaculate also has a blessing box at St. Michael’s Church in Warsaw. LaMarca said they’re also hoping to get a box for St. Isadore’s in Perry but the details are still being worked out.
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