Beckley Pride to team up with WVU Tech students to repaint vandalized blessing box

BECKLEY, WV (WOAY) – Just over 6 months ago, a colorful blessing box in downtown Beckley was covered up in black paint.

The blessing box was created by the Beckley Pride organization, whose intentions were not only to help feed the community but to display what the group is all about.

“Most people don’t know that Beckley is the second-most diverse city in West Virginia, and we are a part of that and we wanted to celebrate it and represent a marginalized community here in the Southern part of West Virginia,” President of Beckley Pride, Christina Baisden says.

In an effort to return the defaced box back to what it was, the organization will be partnering up with some students from WVU Tech to help repaint it.

Thanks to some funding from the WV Collegiate Strategic Prevention Framework Partnerships for Sucess (C-SPF-PFS), along with the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA), the students were able to get the materials needed for the job.

The student leader of the group, Carley Knuckles says the mission was to choose a project that would help better the community. Since the local LGBT group is all about spreading love, she was inspired to give a little bit of love back to them.

“With Beckley Pride spreading so much love we just want to enhance that and make them feel like they are being taken care of by other people in the community as well, and to just show that the community is full of allies,” Knuckles says.

The groups are planning to meet Saturday, May 21 at the blessing box location on Third Avenue at the Beckley Art Park. Anyone is welcome to come out and help them repaint the box.

They will be meeting at noon that day for the event with a ribbon-cutting ceremony to follow.

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