Blessing baskets helping students in Marshall Co.

MADILL, Okla. (KXII) - "It's not just the adults that need help sometimes but it's also the children and we need to be there for them," Gwen Wilson said.

Gwen Wilson is the executive director of Hope for Marshall County, a pay-it-forward organization that helps those in need.

Their most popular program is the blessings box - a way for people to grab items they need, like food, whenever they need to.

Wilson says putting the program into place in Marshall county revealed another problem she wanted to solve.

"We noticed with a lot of parents coming into the pantry there was a big need for items such as shampoo, laundry soap, deodorant dish soap, things like that," Wilson said.

So Wilson decided to turn the blessing box idea into something bigger - baskets, filled with donated hygiene products, snacks and school supplies started appearing in the bathrooms at Madill middle and high school two years ago.

"It made it very private," Wilson said. "The kids didn't have to ask anyone for any items. They could just go into the restrooms, privately grab what they needed, put it in their purse or pocket and go on about their day," Wilson said.

The program has since expanded into Kingston Schools.

Wilson says she's even received phone calls from other school districts in Southern Oklahoma seeking advice on how to start their own blessing baskets.

"It's teaching them not everyone has the exact same thing and how to reach out and just help out another student who may be struggling," Wilson said.

Wilson says if you'd like to help out, they accept anything from hygiene products to school supplies.

You can drop off donations at the front office of Kingston and Madill middle and high schools.