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Blessing Box Blooms Generosity in Small Ozarks Town

ST JAMES, Mo -- When people think of St. James, they may think of it's placement along the Historic Route 66. Others may think of it's incredible wine; The St. James Winery is just up the road.

But there is another abundance here in this railroad town. It's generosity, and it's blooming from a Blessing Box.

Becky Elgin comes from an entire family of collectors. Both her and her husband were overwhelmed when all 4 of their parents passed away within 6 months of each other.

"We decided to open a store to eventually get rid of a lot of things," explained Elgin. It was the beginning of Toot's Treasures, named after her love for Hawaii.

"For a long time, a lot of things weren't for sale and we eventually pulled it. Now, I have new stuff, old stuff, and antiques."

The store, located off Washington Street has grown in the 8 years since then, but it's the stuff outside the door, that's catching the communities attention.

"I feel that I'm very blessed in my life, and I live in a community with people that are less fortunate. That is genuinely the heartfelt reason for the blessing box."

The Blessing Box is a no-strings attached, hand-up for people in need. It originally started with some food and clothing, stocked by the Elgins.

But 8 months later, its now being filled by local churches, charities, and emergency personnel. Becky has even seen the idea spreading to other small communities.

It's an every day reminder that every business venture isn't always about what you can gain, but what you can give. 

"As the saying on the box says, take what you need, bring what you can."

"At this point, we have even seen people that have taken in the past returning to give back food when they can finally afford it."
 


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