The We Are Hope Foundation and the LaVergne Rescue Squad have partnered to bring a third blessing box to the city, this one named “Kayleigh’s Blessing Box” after the 10-year old girl who inspired the little food pantries. The new blessing box officially opened on Saturday, April 9 at the Rescue Squad, located at 141 Gambill Lane.
The LaVergne Rescue Squad was formed in 1970, two years before the city itself was incorporated 50 years ago. “In keeping with more than a half century of public service, it is our pleasure to continue this rich tradition of helping our community,” said Dana Blair, director of the Rescue Squad. Blair praised the efforts of the Kayleigh’s Hope Project, “It is remarkable and heartwarming to see a young lady motivated by the same helping heart that has inspired our volunteers all these years.”
“Every family should have food,” said Kayleigh Balthrop. “You should always help people that are in need. The blessing boxes will help end food insecurity in LaVergne.” Kayleigh named her pageant platform Feeding Tennessee and she has helped thousands of Tennesseans find food by sharing resources and information on her social media page HERE. Kayleigh is the 2021 Miss Volunteer State Little, 2022 Tennessee Junior Miss Agritourism, and MPS Midwest Tenn Little Miss State Queen 2022.
“It’s so important to teach children how they can give back to their community,” said Deborah Balthrop, vice president of the We Are Hope Foundation. “You are never too old or too young to inspire others, to change lives, and to do good when everything in the world feels overwhelming.”
La Vergne's first Blessing Box was installed in January at 144 Bain Dr. next to Skyline Exhibitor Source, Life of Victory Church, and The Father's House Church. The second box is located at the Sonic, 5210 Murfreeesboro Rd. in Lavergne. Like the two other food pantries, Kayleigh’s Blessing Box will have food available to anyone who needs help and there are no income limits or other qualifying conditions. Members of the LaVergne community are encouraged to monitor and stock both blessing boxes.
“These boxes belong to no single organization. They belong to our community,” said Kathy Tyson, president of the Foundation. “We are incredibly thankful that the Rescue Squad is hosting this little community food pantry. The location is well lit and secure, and in an area of need.” Both Tyson and Blair urge people to monitor and bring non-perishable and unexpired food items. Other items may include toothpaste and toothbrushes, hotel size soap, mini laundry detergent bottles, travel size toiletries, pet food, feminine products, socks, first aid items, and hot hands (for winter).