Southern Willamette Valley
Comforting Children in Crisis
Bags of Love / Eugene
“Foster children are moved a lot, and they need something of their own. I really like what Bags of Love does to give them that little piece of security.”
Bags of Love works with agency partners in Lane County to deliver necessities and comfort items to children in crisis. “These kids can go into care with almost nothing,” says Executive Director Becky Stenzel.
Each bag includes age–appropriate clothing, toiletries, school supplies, books, toys and a handmade quilt or fleece blanket. “We get feedback years later that children still remember getting that Bag of Love,” Becky says. “We hear stories that children were thrilled to get their own toothbrush, that they were able to start school with a new backpack and school supplies.”
In 2009, Bags of Love made 200 bags for three agency partners. In 2019, they made 2,781 bags for 65 agency partners. “We’re doing a better and better job of reaching out and connecting with agencies working with families in crisis,” Becky explains.
Bags of Love relies on roughly 300 volunteers to sew, fill and distribute bags. They recently moved into a larger warehouse; funding from OCF helped to outfit the new facility with shelves, carts and bins. “The timing was perfect,” Becky says. “I don’t know that we would’ve been able to fulfill every request if we were still trying to function in the old location.”