Martin Hornick’s “Little Boxes” Helping Community Members in Need


Martin Hornick with one of his “little boxes” at Little Park in Burlington. Photo credit: Charlotte Pierce

Charlotte Pierce, Writer

Martin Hornick is taking an active approach in improving the lives of people in our community. He lives in Fairfield, Vt. and enjoys gardening along with helping out people in need. As a retired foreman of the grounds for the Burlington Parks, Recreation and Waterfront, he has had first-hand experience helping people affected by homelessness and need. 

“We dealt [with] a lot of stuff with the homeless people, and they had a lot of encampments around Burlington, so I felt, as a Christian, I should…reach out to these people because, a lot of times, we had to clean up their mess after they moved on. Sometimes, we had to clean it up for them and move them out, and I felt that their lives were really broken, and I felt bad for them, so I thought, ‘Well, why don’t we build a box to have a little outreach for them?’” Hornick said. 

He was driven by his faith to help people all over the community by creating these donation boxes, which have been dubbed “little boxes” due to their small size and shape. These boxes were simple to build and are a huge help for people in need.  He puts a variety of necessary supplies inside the boxes that people might not have access to such as toiletries, seasonally-appropriate clothing, non-perishable food and activities and treats for children.  

Hornick said, “I built one out of rough-cut lumber, about the size of a medicine cabinet or a little bit bigger, with a shelf inside with a door on it. Burlington Youth groups built some of the boxes, and I had volunteers actually contact me [because] they wanted to build boxes, too.”

The “little boxes” are located all around the community. From his parks and recreation experience, Hornick knows where people that need them the most are located. In Burlington, there is one on North Winooski Ave. in Little Park and one off of Manhattan Drive near the old dump. There is one on Lake St. in St. Albans outside of the Turning Point building. There are a few others scattered around, such as in Enosburg and Morrisville, but hopefully there will be more to come in the future.

You can help Hornick by donating any of the supplies listed in one of the boxes around the community. These “little boxes” not only help people, they also tie the community together through doing something good. 

If you would like to contact Hornick, he can be reached out:  [email protected]