Christina Kuper grew up in Indiana, where she watched a neighbor she called Grandma Hiner, though they weren’t related, regularly sharing food from her pantry with others.
“I think that’s where giving was implanted into my heart,” says Kuper, a member of Taylor Electric Cooperative. “Throughout my life I have always tried to give to others.”
Thus began a lifetime of charity that included Meals on Wheels, Habitat for Humanity, Girl Scouts food drives and baking for military troops away during the holidays. When a debilitating respiratory disease left Kuper homebound in Hawley, about 10 miles north of Abilene, she refocused her benevolence.
Kuper installed the Hawley Sharing Box at the end of her driveway in 2017. Based on the Little Free Pantry program, itself inspired by the Little Free Library project, Kuper’s sharing box makes food, toys, school supplies and toiletries available for anybody—and Kuper stresses anybody—driving past 225 12th St., near the edge of town.
Daily updates on Facebook tell what’s available and what’s needed, and Kuper says the box is stocked almost completely by community donations.
“Kindness is addicting and contagious,” she says, “and it should be spread everywhere.”