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2020 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Bags of Love

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Children & Youth, Children & Youth Services

Mission: The sole purpose of Bags of Love is to provide necessities and comfort items to children who are in crisis due to neglect, abuse, poverty or homelessness. Through our unique distribution model, we address the immediate needs of these children and help support the community agencies caring for them.

Results: Bags of Love has distributed over 9,000 Bags of Love since its inception in 2008. We currently distribute more than 150 bags per month to local children at risk and in crisis.

Target demographics: Children in Crisis

Direct beneficiaries per year: 1808 Lane County Youth by providing them with Bags of Love

Geographic areas served: Lane County

Programs: Distributing bags of basic necessities to children in crisis. Because children are fragile, especially when removed from their normal lives, a Bag of Love provides a sense of security and hope. The child now has something that is his/her very own to hang onto as a “security blanket,” while simultaneously providing them with age appropriate necessities such as clothing, toiletries, and toys.

Community Stories

34 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Bags of Love is one of the best charitable organizations in Eugene. Becky Stenzel, the Executive Director, has always shown the utmost professionalism and giving heart when it comes to serving children in crisis.
I am a volunteer going on two years. I love the cause and the community of volunteers that provide children with a wonderful bag full of love.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Bags of Love is an amazing non-profit organization that helps children in crisis.

I was first introduced to Bags of Love in 2009 as a volunteer and was intrigued by their mission to help and serve the local needs of children by providing a 'Bag of Love' that they assemble and distribute to the children.

Since I first volunteered, Bags of Love has helped thousands of children with a bag of items including necessities like a quilt/blanket, toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, school supplies, and fun items like a stuffed animal or toy.

In addition, it is fantastic that so much of the work in managing the inventory, making quilts/blankets, and assembling the bags is done solely by volunteers that come in to contribute their time, skills and expertise.

I've heard incredible stories from people who have received a bag when they were a child that have said how important that bag was, and how it had such a positive impact for them, especially at a point in their life when maybe there weren't many positive things that they could appreciate.

Bags of Love is an organization that truly cares about bringing something positive in to the lives of the children it serves by saying to a child ‘We care about you. You’re valuable and appreciated’.

Board Member

Rating: 5

My brother adopted through the foster care system. His child came with a garbage bag with her belongings. The thought brought me to tears. Bags of Love offers not only the basic essentials to those children in crisis, but brings some comfort and hope during a trying period. When I read Bag of Love's mission and saw them in action, I wanted to be a part of this organization.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I became involved with Bags of Love 4 years ago. I have been so impressed with the dedication and commitment the whole organization towards their support for foster children.
I have heard testimonials from recipients. They have all been incredibly grateful to have ownership of what most of us would consider everyday items.
Bags of Love is an amazing organization, and one that I proud to be associated with.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Bags of Love is a wonderful organization serving the local needs of children. It helps provide 1000's of kids with basic necessities who don't have simple items like clothes, toiletries, pajamas, blankets and school supplies. Helping volunteer to assemble bags and providing donations for the children it helps is a very rewarding experience. It truly is a great non-profit organization.

Jessica H.12

Board Member

Rating: 5

I was first introduced to Bags of love through a promotion our team put together at work. We brought a couple of local businesses together to sponsor the promotion and Bags of Love was the suggested benefactor by one of the business owners. At the time I had not heard of Bags of Love. But, after meeting Becky, taking a tour of the facility, and really learning about what it is that Bags of Love does within our community I was IN LOVE! The work that Bags of Love does is truly breathtaking and always brings tears to my eyes. The stories you hear, the little lives that are touched, the sense of security that a bag brings these children in need is just truly incredible. I cannot express how near and dear Bags of Love is to my heart.

Donor

Rating: 5

BOL is an incredible nonprofit organization! They provide bags for children who are going through a difficult transition in their lives such as being removed from their homes and placed in foster care. These bags are filled with among other items clothing, toiletries, a handmade quilt, books, toys and a stuffed animal. The bags give these children something of their own to hang onto when having to move to an unfamiliar place. A visit to the warehouse where the bags are made and filled is an amazing experience. The huge warehouse is filled with activity. Volunteers commanding the sewing machines making quilts and bags. Other volunteers combing the storage shelves looking for just the right sweater for a 12 year old girl or the best set of cars for a 5 year old boy. The need for these bags has sky rocketed over the past few years, and BOL continues to be there to bring a smile to a scared child’s face!

JoAnn Drea H.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Bags of Love is an amazing non-profit in Oregon that helps thousands of kids in crisis every year. The kids are often given a bag of necessities like clothing, toiletries, school & art supplies, toys & the wonderful quilt or fleece blanket when they are in a situation where they have nothing. When they are at their most vulnerable. The volunteers & staff work extremely hard all year to sew the quilts, sort donations, make the bags & coordinate with all the agencies that need the bags. Like I said, they are AMAZING!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This December Bags of Love helped over 60 students at Willagillespie Community School have
a wonderful holiday...coats, school and personal supplies, clothes, a beautifully created quilt, and so much more. Working with kids from this school continues as the needs arise. I volunteer at BOL and see all the needs our community has and it is wonderful to be with a non profit group that helps whenever requested. Loading cars with the beautiful bags to send to organizations leave me with such a heartwarming feeling.
Thanks everyone at Bags of Love for giving me this awesome opportunity!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

In Nov 2018 our neighbors daughter a single mom of two little girls lost everything in the Camp Fire in Paradise, Ca. I put in a request with Bags of Love and as a volunteer was able to fill two bags with much needed items and lots of love. For two little girls that had lost so much and didn't think they would even have a Christmas , Christmas came early !!
i

annettebrieske

Volunteer

Rating: 5

What a beautiful way to show children that someone cares about them! Give them a homemade quilt, clothing, school supplies, toiletries, toys/games/activities. Bags are distributed to local agencies (Foster Parents, Dept. of Human Services, Women's Shelter Groups, Schools, etc.) for FREE. No strings attached to provide a Bag of Love to children age 0-17!!

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was amazed at the organization and direct benefit to children. When I walked in and saw their system of putting together a Bag of Love for children, I said to myself "I can do this!" I was retired and wanted to help out a non-profit benefiting children and found a loving, kind and supportive organization for volunteers to offer their particular skills to show our at risk children "we care about you!". Whether you sew, sort, organize or want to put together a meaningful "bag of love", this is a place that can fulfill your soul.

Lynn41

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering with Bags of Love for over 6 years.Someone gave me one of their pamphlets and I took a bunch of clothes down to their warehouse.I then served on the board for 2 years.I now help in the warehouse on Wednesdays filling bags and doing whatever needs to be done.This is a fabulous organization with great people.Our whole mission is to help the kids with bags of clothes,stuffies,toiletries and toys.I feel blessed to be able to volunteer with this group.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered with Bags of Love for a number of years in a number of ways. At one of the first Picnic in the Park events (late summer days of fun and food for school-age children, including a day-pack full of school supplies and other goodies), I watched as two little girls opened their packs together. One pulled out a packet of notebook paper and exclaimed, "Wow! Look, Katie, notebook paper!" I was amazed (and educated!) to see a child get excited about a basic school need, and I was thrilled to be a part of her joy--as I am thrilled to be a part of this fantastic organization.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My chapter is a philanthropic organization. As part of that philthropy,we volunteer our time. When we arrive we are assigned projects to do. Each time it is different and that makes it fun! We are grateful for the opportunity to sort, categorize, stock shelves and/or pack the bags for children who have lost everything whether it be by fire, drugs, abuse...whatever - Bags of Love will be ready and waiting.

Board Member

Rating: 5

In May of 2008, I started Bags of Love to help children in crisis. Over the last 9 years, Bags of Love has helped thousands of children with a bag of items necessary to their well being. The bags include a quilt, a stuffed animal, toiletries such as toothpaste, toothbrush, soap, etc., toys, school supplies, clothes such as pants, shirt, coat, sweat shirt, socks, underwear, and t-shirts, and anything else available.

Bags of Love has come such a long way. We have qualified for grants, have a wonderful donor and sponsor base, but best of all, we have a dedicated volunteer base. Some have been with us for 7 or 8 years. Each one generously gives their time, money, but most importantly, their love for the kids.

Two years ago, I was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Our Executive director, Becky Stenzel, and our hardworking Board of Directors took over running Bags of Love. They have built an even stronger charity and I am so proud. I am finally cured of cancer and able to begin participating again. What a joy.

I hope you will learn as much about Bags of Love and participate with us to help these children in crisis.

Di Barrong, Founder

Previous Stories
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Volunteer

Rating: 5

Very well organized charity that helps kids in our community. They do a fabulous job and have a great group of volunteers that work hard and are truly committed. It is a pleasure to be there.

Cheri C.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am the president Lane County Foster Parent Associationnon also a non profit whom gets serviced by bags of love.
These bags are amazing. For every child that comes into care we take them a bag of love. They are provided with ALL of their basic needs in the bag. This is an amazing gift for a child in need.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Its all about the children. That is our goal when we shop for clothes. Volunteer in the warehouse. Attend a fund raiser. Time and energy and money well spent on children in a crisis situation. I volunteer in the warehouse where we are so appreciated for all we do. Volunteering for Bags of Love is rewarding because I can assemble a bag and pick everything out hoping I might ease the pain or confusion of a child leaving their home. Picking out a quilt and stuffed animal is the best part.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Sewing for Bags of Love gives me great joy knowing that a child, who is so deserving, will be wrapped up in the blanket I just made or that a parent will be able to tuck a soft, new bib under the baby's chin. Bags of Love has such a well organized distribution system to those in need, I know that what I sew will reach the appropriate client and will be well used.

Donor

Rating: 5

I cannot say how much I continue to be impressed with Bags of Love. The organization which is mostly ran by volunteers is incredible. I continually find myself in awe of how Bags of Love partners with various other agencies in Lance County to help support their missions as well. I dream of a day our community no longer needs such an agency, but until that dream comes too - I am so pleased to have this group in my own community. Thank you Bags of Love for your ongoing support of our children. You far exceed my expectations.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Three years ago, around Christmas time, my daughter realized some kids did not get to have Christmas gifts. This was crushing for her and she wanted to do something to help. My mother-in-law did some research and found Bags of Love. The 3 of us came in and volunteered and we were hooked. The amount of time put into making each and every bag for kids and each bag has so much thought and caring put into it. We do not get to meet most of the kids that receive a bag, but they are still the focus of the work being done. This organization is absolutely amazing!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The only charitable organization I ever worked with almost from its inception. It was only about the kids then and it’s still all about the children now, 9 years later.
There are no egos involved in any of the volunteers. Volunteers working together with clear goals of making the lives of children enriched with one bag of love at a time. It’s just that simple.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

God Answers Prayer
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I was in bed stuck and depressed and didn't want to get up. I had no desire to shower or get dressed. I made myself make my husband's dinner but that was all. He didn't understand me sleeping 20 hours a day and neither did I. This went on for 3 months. I was so discouraged I cried out to God many times 'This is not your plan for me, help me find a reason to get up with a purpose or an interest.' My Pastor's Mother asked me to go on a tour of 'Bags of Love.' I learned later they fill bags for children in crisis one Bag of Love at a time for newborns to age 17. In these bags there is toiletries, toys, books, clothes, warm coats, gloves, hats, scarfs, and homemade quilts. I had toured Bags of Love a year earlier without any interest at the time. I wanted to please my Pastor's Mother so I said I would go. The tour was exciting this time. It was my time. They offered me Tuesdays 10-12, and I could do that. Now I had my reason to get up and get dressed. After my first Tuesday afternoon, I found out almost all of the volunteers were also 2 hours a week. I knew I needed more, I could do more. The more I showed up the more they entrusted me with duties. I felt needed and depended on and I had a purpose. They were so grateful but how could they know they had done more for me than I had for them. Now I was volunteering on Wednesday 12-2 and on Thursday 10-2, working fund raisers and helping teach Teen Challenge girls to sew and learn home and job skills. God answered my prayer and led me to 'Bags of Love.' I now also help Campus Life Middle-schoolers on Tuesday nights with life challenges. Recently they had an all nighter and Fall retreat with I attended as a counselor. I'm 64 years old and I love my life. I'm a late bloomer. Thank you God for having patience with me. This is all a part of the plan for my life. Thanksgiving in coming up this week, I am one thankful person.

Review from #MyGivingStory

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I joined Bags of Love over five years ago and have acted as Secretary and Operations Director for that time period. It as been a rewarding experience knowing that what I do helps so many children in crisis. Everyone is a volunteer--no paid staff--so each person plays an important role in making Bags of Love reach as many children in our community as possible, whether it is sewing bags and quilts, filling bags or delivering bags, serving on the Board, or helping with fundraising events. Our donors and sponsors play an important role, as well. It really is a community effort on behalf of local children in crisis. I enjoy meeting and working with all the people who devote their time, energy, and dollars to this wonderful non-profit organization.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered at Bags of Love for almost three years and it's one of the best experiences of my retirement. All of the volunteers are selfless and give generously of their time and energy. Founder Di Barrong is an inspiration to me, and she has truly made a reality out of a powerful vision. Bags of Love helps our community's kids in crisis and nothing could be better than that.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering for a couple of years for Bags of Love. What a great organization. These bags are for kids that are in need. We fill home made bags with home made quilts, toys, toiletries, coats, underwear, socks and school bags. It amazing how much need there is in the community!! I'm glad to be a part of it.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I began with Bags of Love five years ago and have watched it grow from a one room operation to our present warehouse. Our volunteer list has grown as well as the number of agencies we serve and the donations. My own involvement has grow from six hour a week to ten or twelve. It has been exciting to work with a truly wonderful enthusiastic group of people and to see the gratitude of the agencies we serve.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am proud to be a part of this wonderful organization.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have enormous admiration for the work Bags of Love does for traumatized and abused children. From the many big-hearted volunteers to the Board to the Founder, Di Barrong, it is an unparalleled organization. Love and compassion imbues everything they do and hope to do. My thanks for their contributions to children in our community,

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This organization is a wonderful asset to our community. I truly enjoy the time that I spend with the other dedicated volunteers.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I heard of Bags of Love through a friend about a year ago, and I'm so glad I did! I was so impressed by their immaculate warehouse and shelves of quilts and clothing - but most of all I was impressed by how much love really does go into making a bag. Everyone at the organization is a volunteer - I was amazed to see how carefully all the contents of each bag were assembled. It's heartwarming to know that there is a child in need on the other end of that bag crammed with toys, clothes, sleepwear, and school supplies. This is definitely an organization worth giving your time to.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I was first introduced to Bags of Love in their early years and have watched this organization grow from one small room of supplies to a large warehouse serving hundereds of children in our community. One thing that has never changed - it is an ALL VOLUNTEER organization! How many non-profits have you worked with that can say that? With a very supportive and active Board of Directors, to the amazing Executive team, along with the always dedicated weekly volunteers, this group has one mission - to help children in crisis, one bag of love at a time.

1 Rob_30

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I follow this charity from afar due to a friend associated with the organization. That disclaimer aside, just look at the long list of charities in the area that work with them. Clearly they do good work, and have the support of many other effective charities.