WICHITA, Kan. You may have spotted small red boxes around Wichita. They're called "Blessing Boxes" and the name matches their purpose.
Seven-year-old Paxton and his mother, Maggie Ballard are the duo behind the more-than-one dozen Blessing Boxes. They say the idea is to use them to offer free items for people in need including food and toiletries.
Paxton explains why he wants to make a difference.and what he's learned.
"That there is a problem out there and that nobody should have to wonder where their next meal is going to come from, especially a kid," he says.
It's a big lesson for a second grader. Paxton and Maggie are responsible for Blessing Boxes throughout Wichita and beyond. One of them is as far away as the Rush County town of La Crosse in Western Kansas.
Other Blessing Box locations outside Wichita are in Maize, Valley Center, Hutchinson and Great Bend.
The first Blessing Box was set up in October 2016. That one quickly grew to 13, all in very different neighborhoods with the same need.
"You never know what somebody's going through," Maggie Ballard says. Maybe they had a repair for their car or something unexpected came up and they just need a little bit of help to get to their next payday."
Maggie says they go through about $100 worth of donations per day at each Blessing Box.
"We see how fast the food goes and we see that the demand is high and it just encourages us to keep going and adding more boxes," she says.
Maggie and Paxton's dining room at home has become a sort of food pantry, full of donations. They'll soon have more to stock as they prepare to install their 14th and 15th Blessing Boxes this weekend.
"I don't see us slowing down anytime soon," Maggie says.
If you'd like to help the mother-son duo stock the Blessing Boxes, you can drop off donations at any Blessing Box location.