'Bless you Box'

A Peacemaking Project by Patrick B.

What is the injustice we are solving?

The injustice/injustices which we look to tackle is that of poverty, food poverty and offer basic healthcare essentials. This will be done through our 'blessing box' idea. Foods with long expiry dates i.e. mostly tinned foods. Health care essentials: Tooth Brushes, soup, dental floss, mini shampoos and conditioners.

Our Compassionate Solution:

To solve this injustice of Food poverty and access to basic hygiene products.
we will address lack of access to both food and basic hygiene for disadvantaged and low-income families and individuals. this is caused by a number on on-going factors: increased prices, inadequate benefits for families, high levels of drug addiction and crime etc..
by entering a 'bless you box' into our local parish which will increase access to such products and provide basic essentials to those in need of them the most.

Our Project Plan:

Goals

  • To ensure that everyone in the community is aware and provided with basic food and essentials.
  • A want for the community to appreciate the project and to understand the importance of this

We will increase my / our compassion by...

How will you show courage?

We aim to be a very active group within our communities. We wont shy away if the project doesn't reach it potential and allow adversity to succeed. We will be present within the local community centres and local churches to ensure that those who will (hopefully) use it more often than others will see that we care and are genuinely seeking to help. We will visit the local primary schools and youth centres - through this we hope to role out a small 'logo competition' for the box. This is so that young people feel involved in a project which is happening in their community.

How will you collaborate with others?

We hope that if this project is successful within North Belfast we hope to role it out throughout East, South and West also - collaborating with other clubs and centres in those areas. As it is well known Northern Ireland dose face divide within communities, linking with the theme of peace we hope that due to the location of the running of this project (on an interface area - area of divide between catholic and protestant areas) it will allow for both sides of the community to welcome the project as a 'peace-building' project as well as tackling the issue of food poverty.

How will you know you are moving in the right direction? (What are specific ways you can measure your impact?)

We hope to create a Facebook page where the 'blessing box' will take up its own identity. through comments, posts, shares etc. we will be able to grasp an understanding of how well the project is running and will allow for us to interpret attitudes and perceptions of the project. the box ill communicate with the community (its followers) of updates and info about the box - again, comments etc.. will allow for evaluation of personal opinion on the project. If people are happy. If those who attend the schools, youth clubs, parish's are showing that they are happy with the project and the role it has to play then we will know if it heading in the right direction. Of course when we re-stock the box we will be able to notice if any physical damage has been done to the box - as it can be difficult to maintain something so small within public places. Although through appropriate PR via Facebook, word of mouth, emails, videos etc we hope to create an awareness of the project - and not only that, but an awareness of those issues related to living in poverty.

Key Steps

Comments:

Fish S. Peace First Staff
6 June 2018 10:18

Hi Patrick - this is Fish from the Peace First team. I wanted to give you feedback on your updated Compassionate Insight. Thanks for taking the time to revise it - I think you've addressed Tom's comments and made it a lot stronger.

In particular, you've done a great job at identifying some factors that contribute to lack of access to food and hygiene products - increased prices, inadequate benefits, and drug addiction are definitely contributors to that problem.

I'm wondering if you can think of some ways your project can help address some of those problems, too, and stop the cycle before it starts. Are there resources you can offer along with the 'Bless You Boxes' that help correct some of these root issues? Just food for thought...  

Tom B.
4 June 2018 5:48

Hi,

Have the parish given a reason why it might be difficult?

The local school sounds like a great idea. Have you spoken to them yet?

Any area where there will be a lot of people visiting would be great - market, library, school, place of worship. How about a shopping centre or supermarket?

Tom  

Patrick B.
29 May 2018 6:43

Hey Tom,

Thanks for the response to our project. Your suggestions have been noted and made.

One thing which we are finding tricky is the location for such an idea - we have been informed that it might be quite difficult to gain permission to run our project through the parish. the group and i have came up with the idea of contacting the local school and hopefully run the project from their in the morning times when parents are dropping kids off at school - this has been the tioughest part yet.. any suggestions?

Hope to here from you soon.

Thanks a mil,
Paddy  

Tom B.
18 May 2018 16:08

Hi Patrick,

It’s Tom here from the Peace First team. I wanted to provide you with some Feedback on your Compassionate Insight. We encourage you to use this feedback as you continue to progress through your peacemaking journey, and if/when you apply for a mini-grant, your Insight will be one of the things we consider, so you are welcome to use this feedback to strengthen your insight before that stage in the process.

Your insight:
To solve this injustice of dood poverty and hygiene levels
we will address the inability to provide food and basic essentials to your family
by introducing a 'bless you box' within the local parish.

I really like the fact that your project is contained to a specific geographical area – this will ensure that you can really focus your efforts and limited resources.

However, I encourage you to re-look at the structure of the Insight. For the first part of the insight, we're looking for you to articulate the specific injustice that you want to address. Food Poverty is definitely an injustice but is ‘hygiene levels’ an injustice? I’d suggest that lack of access to (or a lack of provision of) basic hygiene products is the second part of your injustice.

Also, for the second part of the insight, we ask that you consider the root causes of that injustice
-What is causing the injustice that you have identified?
-Why is it that some people do not have access to these essentials whereas others do?
The Problem and Solution tree resource is a great tool to help you investigate these sorts of questions.
https://www.peacefirst.org/resource/understand-2-problem-and-solution-trees

Once you you’ve identified the root cause of the injustice, you can design an appropriate solution to create lasting change.

You can find all of the insight tools here: https://www.peacefirst.org/understand-through-compassion

I’m really excited to see what comes next!

Tom
 

Kelsey T.
15 May 2018 16:48

Hi Patrick!

Thanks for posting this project! I'm part of the Peace First team over in Boston, but used to live in North Belfast so was excited to read about your project. This is a great project and is responding to such an important need in the community: ensuring that all folks have access to the basic resources they need including food and personal care products. This is a real issue in Belfast -- and all the more so in interface areas that tend to be under-resourced. I can tell your project is rooted in a deep care for the wider community. I love that you are focusing first on North Belfast and then hope to take your learnings to expand your impact to the other areas of the city. I also really appreciate that you are focusing on how to do this work on a cross community basis and incorporating an emphasis on peace.

We'll be giving you feedback on your project insight soon, and then you can finalize your plan (it looks like you are still working on filling out the question about compassion and your steps) and submit a mini-grant application!

In the meantime, check out some other projects that are working on similar issues:
https://www.peacefirst.org/projects/blessing-bags
https://www.peacefirst.org/projects/food-justice
https://www.peacefirst.org/projects/kans-kidss-zavala-elementary-food-pantry

We encourage folks to connect with people working on similar topics, as networks only strengthen our work--drop by some of these links if you have time and comment on what others are doing, ask questions, and generally get to know people!

Thanks so much for doing this important work. Let us know if you have any questions, and if there are other ways we can support you!

Best,
Kelsey  

Adrian B. Peace First Staff
5 July 2018 13:30

Hi Patrick!

I hope you're doing well! I wanted to drop by our (new!) project platform and check in about how your project is going--how are you doing with updating your project plan? Let me know if you need any help!

I also wanted to let you know about a timeline we have for a UK-specific challenge that's coming up. We'd love to have you involved!

Completion of Understand Phase & Submit Compassionate Insights by 20th July
Submit Project Plan by 17th August
Submit Mini-Grant Application by 31st August
Submit Reflection by 31st October

Let me know if you'd like to know more about the challenge, and if there's anything we can do to help. Looking forward to hearing from you!

Best,
Adrian  

Adrian B. Peace First Staff
15 August 2018 9:48

Hi Patrick,

How's your project going? Let us know how we can support your work!

Warmly,
Adrian  

Adrian B. Peace First Staff
27 August 2018 15:49

Hi Patrick!

I hope that you're doing well. I wanted to check in and encourage you to update your plan soon--the mini-grant application is due at the end of the week to be part of the current UK challenge, and we'd love for you to be a part of it!

Let me know if you have any questions, or if we can help with this process. Looking forward to seeing what's next for your work!

Warmly,
Adrian