The Blessings Box is bringing this Southeast D.C. neighborhood together.

A woman in Southeast D.C. is taking the idea of “paying it forward” to the next level. 

Meet Wendy Hammond, the creator of the “Blessings Box,” a small replica of her own home that is filled to the brim with canned goods and personal hygiene items. The miniature pantry sits outside her own house, with the idea of bringing the community together with the message: “take what you need and leave what you can.”

Hammond was inspired to start a Blessings Box by her grandmother, who used to give away food and produce out of the corner store she operated on the very same lot. Hammond has since turned the store building into her own home, and it's fitting that there be a "store" on this corner again.  

"It brings back the community," Hammond explained in an interview with Fox 5. "I grew up here, I grew up on this corner, so we knew everybody ... everybody knew everybody."

As D.C. grows and changes, Hammond has found that people don't know their neighbors the way they used to. The Blessings Box is something she hopes will help fill that community gap.

This is only a small part of a wider “mini-pantry” movement that is becoming ever more popular. Since the movement’s inception in Arkansas, hundreds of people have set up small boxes with all types of essentials—from nonperishables to other sundries. All across the country, people are reaching out to each other to improve their communities.

Have you ever wanted to start a miniature pantry like this? Leave a comment and let us know how you would like to see your neighbors grow closer together.