Building on blessing: Volunteer builds TLC’s new blessing box – Salisbury Post

Carolines Lutheran Services

SALISBURY — Christine Kyles grew up in a family of designers. His mother made her children’s clothes and his father had a shop in the garage where he worked with wood and metal. His brother is a machinist.

“It’s the environment I grew up in. We did things for ourselves,” Kyles said. “I am a hobbyist.”

Growing up, Kyles learned to sew, embroider and cross stitch. When she decided to lay new tiles in her bathroom, she added this skill to her repertoire.

“I thought I’d give it a try, and it turned out great,” she said. “Then I had more ideas for things I could do in my house with tiles.”

When her sister wanted a new table, Kyles followed in her father’s footsteps and taught herself woodworking.

“He had arrived where he was not able to do so many projects. He decided that I would get the woodworking tools and my brother would get the metalworking tools,” she said. “He gave me his large commercial grade table saw. I love this table saw.

Kyles began volunteering at Trinity Living Center (TLC) in 2020 just before the COVID-19 pandemic began. Activities Director Andrea Moore contacted her and asked if she could lead a carpentry activity for the male attendees.

After the first day, Kyles said she was hooked.

“It was so much fun. The men were so nice and they laughed at my jokes,” she said. “We just had a good time.”

Since that day, Kyles has attended most TLC events and supported the Adult Day Service program in any way he can. When TLC wanted to pursue a new blessing box ministry, Moore knew exactly the person for the job.

Blessing Boxes are honor system pantries where those in need can find non-perishable food items and toiletries. Like small free libraries, they are supplied by community groups and individuals. The idea is that a person takes something when they need it, but when they have a little extra they are encouraged to put items in the box.

The project was supported, in part, by an intergenerational grant from the Lutheran Services for the Aged Foundation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). Moore used the grant money to buy the wood, and Kyles got to work building the box.

On a sunny day in March, TLC attendees gathered outside with Kyles as Trinity Oaks Chaplain Pastor Jill King prayed and dedicated the new blessing box.

“It was really good,” Kyles said of the dedication. “And people stopped right away that day to watch it.”

Barry F. Howard