By Kate Merrill


MAYNARD (CBS) – It Happens Here in Maynard, home to the former Assabet Woolen Mill which made cloth for the Union Army during the Civil War. Henry David Thoreau wrote about walking through the area in his famous journal, and it was a favorite shopping spot for Babe Ruth when he lived in nearby Sudbury.

It is also where you can find Reba Tobia filling blue boxes with items she hopes will help ease the stress and pain of those suffering with eating disorders.

There are note cards with encouraging words, and lavender scented putty that is supposed to be soothing.

She calls it the Brave Box and it’s intended to help bridge the gap between someone who is struggling with an eating disorder and their loved ones.

“A lot of people who buy it are wanting to show support and don’t know how,” she said.

Reba Tobia fills Brave Boxes with items she hopes will help those suffering with eating disorders. (WBZ-TV)

Reba says her goal is to send hope to those who need it most.

“Why is there nothing for eating disorders? They are such a tough thing to talk about you don’t want to trigger and you don’t want to act like it’s not going on and you want to show you care,” she said.

She has only been at it for six months, but these boxes with five little items inside are already making a difference.

“When you feel those emotions instead of turning to that destructive behavior, playing with the dough, activating senses,” she explained.

Brave Boxes are filled with five small items.

Reba knows a lot about the subject. She is in recovery herself. She hopes by reaching out to others, they can heal together.

“The recovery process can really feel isolating and feel alone and feel not connected and I know I felt that way and I didn’t want anyone else to feel that way,” she said.

The Brave Boxes cost $75 and a portion of all sales goes directly to the Multi-Service Eating Disorder Association (MEDA) to fund their lifesaving programs.

Kate Merrill

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