RICHMOND, Va. -- When Lucy and Leonard Hicks first laid eyes on each other, it was love at first sight.
“He looked like Bobby Daren when I first met him," Lucy Hicks said. "That is the first thing I thought.”
This month the couple celebrated 61 years of marriage. They would like anniversary gifts, but not in a traditional sense.
Steps away from their front door on Watchhaven Lane, their new blessings box is filled with food and overflowing with love.
“We’re amazed at the donations we’ve gotten and the people who have responded," Lucy said. “Leonard keeps it stocked. He checks it every morning."
Friends helped build the tiny food pantry a few months ago.
“The message on there says, 'take what you need and give what you can.' And they’re only taking what they need," Lucy said.
The Hicks don’t want to see their neighbors go hungry.
“People are having to deal with things they’ve never dealt with before. Losing their jobs. Losing their homes. Not having enough food to feed their family," Lucy said.
“It warms my heart to know that we’re helping people and we’ve always tried to be that way," Leonard added.
Leonard and Lucy buy groceries and rely on the generosity of others.
The food inside isn’t just for hungry humans. Small bags of pet food are also left for animals.
“We’ve had so many pets over 61 years. Can’t imagine surrendering your pet because you can’t feed them," Lucy said.
The Hicks’ blessings box honors the memory of their son Michael and a neighbor’s daughter.
“We’re reaching more people in his name which makes it better," Lucy said.
Michael died battling epilepsy the night before his birthday in 1997.
“It was one of the hardest things we’ve ever had to go through was losing him," Lucy said.
Their car-loving son would have been 35.
“He would be proud of it. By us helping other people because that is the way he was," Leonard said.
For more than six decades the Hicks have nourished each other with love.
“We’re still here and happier than ever," Leonard said.
On the anniversary of their marriage, the Hicks took another vow to say "I do" to help others in need.
If you would like to help Lucy and Leonard fill their blessings box their telephone number is: 804-814-2193.
Greg McQuade features local heroes in a weekly “Heroes Among Us” segment. Watch Greg’s reports Thursdays on CBS News at 6 or here on WTVR.com. If you would like to nominate someone to be featured on “Heroes Among Us,” click here to email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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