- Associated Press - Monday, February 19, 2018

WHITE MILLS, Ky. (AP) - White Mills resident Casey Farmer had one wish for her birthday: a blessing box placed in the community for others.

The blessing box is a weather-proof cabinet filled with items such as canned goods, food staples, hats, socks, blankets and other needs. Items are available for anyone who is in need.

On Friday, Feb. 9, for her 27th birthday, Farmer’s wish came true.

The box was placed at the White Mills Ball Park on Sonora Hardin Springs Road with permission from the White Mills Civic League, which maintains the park. It was built by her stepfather, Scott Nall, his friend Ken Taylor and a cousin, Aaron Nall. Farmer and her mother, Laura Nall, painted it. The box was a family project.

Farmer got the idea after White Mills resident Suzanne Dennis died in a car crash in March.

“She was the embodiment of kindness and spread the love and happiness to everybody,” Farmer said.

Farmer then wondered what she would be known for when she died and if she made a difference, even in the life of one person.

“Suzanne loved this community and her motto was always kindness and to always spread it to others,” Farmer said. “I feel like she would really back this and would have loved this.”

After Dennis’ death, Farmer heard many stories of what the longtime educator had done to have an impact on the lives of those in the community.

“If I can be half the person she was then I’ve really done something with my life,” Farmer said.

There are people who might need help for a few weeks and don’t want to ask for assistance, she said.

The box is set up so anyone in the community can add supplies and anyone who is in need can take items from it.

Farmer and her mother also will monitor the box to make sure it is filled regularly and products are not out of date.

Laura Nall said the blessing box was an excellent idea to help people, many she said are the “working poor” who still need help from time to time.

It can be a resource small towns don’t have, Nall said.

A lot of the places that offer assistance often are in urban areas, but Farmer said she wanted to have something in a rural community. If it snows, those who live in rural areas can’t always make it to larger cities and now there will be something there to help, she said.

The goal is to help just one person, any more than that is a bonus, Farmer said.

A man in her stepfather’s shop recently saw the box being built. He was a recovering alcoholic and said he survived off the help of a program such as this, she said.

“If I can just help one person, then it’s worth it,” Farmer said.

Bettye Mae Raymer, a longtime community resident, said Farmer always had wonderful ideas on the civic league and was glad the blessing box had its beginning on Farmer’s birthday.

“It’s a wonderful idea and there are people in the community that we have no idea need it who will probably come down here to get help where they won’t ask otherwise,” Raymer said.

Raymer is a member of the White Mills Homemakers group that supplied some of the items to fill the box for its opening.

After the box was in place and filled, Farmer became emotional about it finally being available for residents.

“I’m really excited to finally have it up,” she said through tears. “I can’t even explain how much excitement it gives me.”


Information from: The News-Enterprise, http://www.thenewsenterprise.com

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