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Letter to Santa a blessing for McBee

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By Don Worthington

For the past several years, Emalee Moree of McBee has put others before herself in her letter to Santa.
Usually it was a small request or kindness that Emalee, now 8, wanted to see happen.
This year’s request to Santa was so big, so unselfish, that it melted her mother’s heart and made her cry.
Emalee asked Santa for a “blessing box” for people who need food and other supplies.
She made the request after seeing classmates leave school with backpacks of food. If they needed food, Emalee wondered, what about others?
“Why can’t we do this for the whole community?” Emalee asked.
Rebecca Moree said the request likely started when Emalee saw a post on Facebook about a blessing box in Darlington.
Emalee saw the need and asked Santa for help.
When Rebecca read her daughter’s request, she realized it was something that Santa could not do on his own.
With the assistance of others, Emalee’s Christmas wish has come true. McBee’s Little Blessing box is stocked, unlocked and helping residents.
Her father, Ronnie, built the blessing box and painted it red. Ronnie usually builds something each Christmas, but it is usually a toy, he said.
The box was installed outside Alligator Volunteer Fire Department’s Station 1 at 219 S. 11th St. near McBee High School.
At first, Emalee said she didn’t know what to expect.
“I thought most people would donate, but some would not,” she said.
Her fear was that people would take items and not restock the blessing box’s shelves.
“I got a surprise and I’m happy,” she said.
People are restocking the box. She said someone took cups of macaroni and cheese. They apparently dropped off dental floss as their gift, she said.
“It’s a judgment-free zone,” Rebecca Moree said. “We tell people to ‘take what you need and give what you can.’”
Most of the items on the shelves are food or hygiene-related. The blessing box accepts other items as long as they fit in the box, said Rebecca Moree.
Items in glass containers or anything that is sharp should not be put into the blessing box, she said.
McBee’s Little Blessing has been so successful that the Morees are looking to expand, adding at least two more boxes in the town.

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Want to help?
McBee’s Little Blessing will have a grand-opening donation celebration from 1-3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 13, at Alligator Station 1, 219 S. 11th St. The blessing box accepts non-perishable foods, hats, scarfs, gloves, small blankets, diapers, toothbrushes and other items. For details, call Rebecca Moree, (843) 861-5143.