Bags of Love Executive Director Becky Stenzel talks about the nonprofit’s mission with Dr. B.
There are many wonderful nonprofits in our community working hard to care for and support children. I recently visited an organization called Bags of Love and, after seeing the vital and heartfelt work they are doing on behalf of kids, I am committed to lending my support.
Bags of Love was founded in 2008 with the purpose of providing necessities and items of comfort to children who are in crisis, due to neglect, abuse, poverty, homelessness and disaster. They give children who desperately need help a hand-sewn bag filled with age-appropriate things, including socks, pajamas, underwear, school supplies, toys, books, toiletries and a hand-made quilt or fleece blanket.
Bags of Love works with over 50 agencies that request help for kids, such as the F.B.I., Department of Human Services, CAHOOTS, Centro Latino Americano, and Relief Nursery.
It is alarming that over 7,000 cases of child abuse and neglect occur annually in Oregon. And in Lane County:
- 23.1 percent of children live below the federal poverty line
- 44 percent of households are in poverty or cannot afford basic household expenses
- More than 2,100 children are homeless
I became emotional as I walked through the Bags of Love warehouse, which is filled with donated clothes, books, toys, coats and blankets. Volunteers worked as I listened to stories of how this loving place is making an impact—about the child who celebrated after finally receiving her very own toothbrush after living so long without a way to clean her teeth; about the 90-year-old volunteer who made 70 quilts by hand for kids in need; and the fact that 4 part-time employees and over 200 volunteers distributed 2,244 kids Bags of Love over the last year.
I would like to help Bags of Love grow and continue its amazing mission of service. This year, during the month of December, we will invite families of Eugene Pediatrics and Thrive Behavioral Health to donate new or lightly used items for this charity.
How can you help right now?
- Donate clothing: new socks, underwear, coats and other items (sizes newborn to adult XXL), toys, toiletries and school supplies.
- Make a cash donation of any amount.
- Give your time and talents by volunteering in the warehouse, or sewing quilts, knitting or crocheting blankets and making bags.
- Attend the annual Bags of Love auction on October 4th at the Valley River Inn. Contact Bags of Love for more information)
To offer your support or to volunteer, call 541-357-4957 or click here.
Thank you to Bags of Love Executive Director Becky Stenzel and her staff and volunteers for their diligent efforts and energy on behalf of children who desperately need all of our love.
Each child receives a hand-made quilt.
Along with necessities, each Bag of Love includes a comfort item, such as a doll, stuffed animal or book.