The red house is a pantry for our neighbors to visit. The concept is simple, if you have non-perishable items you put it in the box and if you need an item you take what you need. Over the last couple of months I’ve had the opportunity to watch as our neighbors and friends have put their generosity to work.
One day I decided to take the chance to ask people about how they found out about the red house and to my surprise there are all sorts of unique stories folks were kind enough to share with me.
Mr. Roger takes careful consideration to make his donation look as close to a store shelf as he possibly can. If the box is in disarray, he straightens things out so people can have a good experience when they get their items. Coming to the box is important to him because it preserves the memory of his late wife Pam. The couple decided to make donating to the red house once a week part of their giving back to the community. They would shop specifically for the red house and then deliver the items together (usually on Thursday and sometimes another day out the week).
Unfortunately, Pam died in August, 2021 as a victim of the Covid-19. He tearfully explained how they really enjoyed executing this act of kindness together. Nowadays, he reflects on the time they spent together and the love they once shared. He tears up and says, “Yeah, me and her used to do this thing together-but not no more. I know everything happens for a reason and I don’t question it. I just keep giving faithfully.”. Roger made it clear that he is a man of God and to make sure that I got it right. “God provides everything and I’m simply a vessel”, he says.
I had the opportunity to speak to Ms. Tan. She puts a variety of items in the box. You will see her pack anything from oddles and noodles to bite sized sweet things. She has fallen in love with the little red house concept because she believes that it preserves human dignity on so many levels. It allows people who only have a little to contribute and assist a neighbor in need and also a neighbor in need can get assistance without going through red-tape or to have to explain their entire circumstances just to get some food.
She can’t quite remember when she started contributing to the red box but she is certainly committed to keeping it stocked not only with what people need but items they may be highly desire.
Most people who pull up to the box to contribute are grateful for the opportunity to serve and so are people receiving from our Little Red House that a basic need is met. Everyday people like Mr. Roger and Ms. Tan make this community the best it can be. We are grateful for the Little Red Pantry and the people who keep the generosity going.