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Appreciating our Volunteers
Volunteers Denise Sustello, Elizabeth Haney, and Doris Brown
Spring usually means that the Bags of Love Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon is right around the corner. It’s one of our favorite events - after all, what could be better than coming together to say thank you to all the folks who make our work possible? Our organization is almost entirely volunteer-driven, so the lion’s share of the credit for the 3,000+ bags given to children in need in 2020 goes to our sewers, warehouse volunteers, office helpers, and other volunteers. We always look forward to gathering with our amazing supporters for some good food, wonderful conversations, and recognition of the previous year’s 12 Volunteers of the Month.  

While there is light at the end of the tunnel and we have made progress in containing the pandemic since this time last year, we know it is still too early to bring together a large group in our warehouse. We love our volunteers and can’t wait to see you all in person when it’s safe to do so. But our inability to gather in person doesn’t diminish our heartfelt appreciation for every single one of you!

With so many great volunteers, it’s always challenging to choose a Volunteer of the Month - but we’re also excited to give extra recognition to someone who has gone above and beyond.

In 2020, we highlighted the following people whose enthusiastic attitudes and hard work deserved a special shoutout:
  • January: Jim Emert
  • Feburary: Debbie Erbes
  • March: Warehouse closed due to COVID
  • April: Warehouse closed due to COVID
  • May: LaVonn Wical
  • June: Warehouse closed due to COVID
  • July: Gloria Buchanan
  • August: Margaret Howard
  • September: Betty Jessee
  • October: Sheila Meyer & Brent Farlie
  • November: Glenna Pitts
  • December: Donna Leavitt
Earth Week at Oregon Bottle Drop
The Oregon Bottle Drop program is an easy way to raise money for Bags of Love by recycling the cans and bottles you use every day. We have blue bottle-drop bags at our warehouse that are pre-labeled and ready to fill with your recyclable cans and bottles. You can either return the filled bags to our warehouse or drop them off yourself at one of the two bottle drop locations listed on the bags.

The upcoming Earth Week Match program will allow us to raise even more! From April 22-30, all Blue Bag Fundraising accounts will receive an additional 20% in matching donations. You can drop the bags off yourself during that week, or deliver them to Bags of Love by April 27 so we have time to get them to the Bottle Drop location. There are limits on how many Blue Bags can be dropped off daily per non-profit, so if you have a large number, we recommend bringing your donation to the warehouse. We have scheduled an appointment at Oregon Bottle Drop that will allow us to redeem up to 50 bags.
 
An Assist from the Assistance League
Gloria Buchanan shows off all the terrific new reading material.
Even though sales at the Assistance League Thrift Shop have been severely impacted by the pandemic, the Assistance League of Eugene has continued to generously support our work. Not one but two of the organization’s committees regularly arrive with much-needed donations. We especially appreciate that the first committee’s book deliveries are focused on filling our immediate needs and often include Spanish and bilingual titles. The second committee not only shops for toiletries but also puts together complete kits for our various age groups.
Golf Tournament Fore Bags of Love
Mark your calendars now for Friday, July 30. The Eugene Association of Realtors and the Springfield Board of Realtors have selected Bags of Love as the nonprofit beneficiary of their 2021 Golf Tournament fundraising event! Last year's tournament was a benefit for FOOD for Lane County, so we're excited to be in such good company.

Watch for more details on how to participate - or, if your golf swing is a little rusty, just come out and enjoy the fun.
New Bags of Love Website Debuts
If you haven’t checked out our website lately, take a moment to surf over to bagsofloveinc.org. Our brand-new site has a fresh look, up-to-date information, and tons of fun pictures of our volunteers. (You might even see yourself in one!) We hope the refreshed site will help folks new to Bags of Love find out more about what we do and how to get involved. Thank you to Emily Keizer for designing our new online presence. 
Warehouse COVID Protocol Update
We’re relieved and excited that the COVID-19 vaccine rollout is exceeding expectations and that, as of March 26, Lane County is now in the low-risk category. In order to continue improving, however, we still need to wear our masks, limit our gatherings, and be conscious of social distancing.

For now, Bags of Love will maintain our current safety protocols, which include limiting the number of volunteers in the warehouse, scheduling all donation drop-offs and bag pick-ups, and keeping up with enhanced cleaning protocols. We are scheduling donations in 15-minute increments Monday through Thursday between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Please call our office at 541-357-4957 to make an appointment. We appreciate everyone's understanding as we make every effort to get through this pandemic safely.
Top-Notch Donors
In March, we were especially appreciative of the Eugene Mission and Aesthetic Surgical Arts.

Thank you to the Eugene Mission for sharing some of its kid-oriented donations with us. "Many of the items the Mission receives are distributed to guests on or off campus," said the Mission on Facebook. "We are grateful to receive children’s clothing and toys that help provide children in crisis essentials. Those items are also distributed to amazing organizations such as Relief Nursery and Bags of Love."

Aesthetic Surgical Arts, which raised money and collected donations for Bags of Love during its Merry and Bright Holiday Specials program, delivered a check for $1,565 along with a supply of beautiful blankets and other items for our bags.


Thank you!
Volunteer of the Month
This month's standout volunteer is Randy Purdy. Randy is a regular at our warehouse and is truly a “do anything" kind of guy.  From organizing supplies to vacuuming the warehouse, from repairs to errands, Randy has become an indispensable part of Team BOL.
Randy helping out in the school supply area
February Highlights

In Feburary, we distributed 163 bags, for a total value of $29,020.

Our biggest order came from St. Vincent de Paul First Place Family Center, which requested 42 bags. The following agencies and organizations also helped us touch the lives of children this month:

  • Academy of Arts and Academics
  • Buena Vista Spanish Immersion
  • Centro Latino Americano
  • DHS - Chad Drive
  • DHS West Eugene
  • DHS - Willamette
  • Eugene McKinney-Vento Program
  • FBI
  • Friends of the Children
  • Lane ESD Migrant Education
  • Oregon Family Support Network
  • Willamette Family
  • Womenspace
Most-Needed Items
This month, we're especially in need of:
  • Cotton fabric in kid-friendly colors and patterns (this is our biggest need right now!)
  • New pajamas in sizes 2T - Adult XXL
  • New underwear in boys' size 4 through adult XL
  • Athletic shorts in boys' and men’s sizes
  • 10-12 pack fine-tip markers
  • Journals for teenage boys and girls
Please call the warehouse at 541-357-4957 if you'd like to schedule a donation drop-off.
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Copyright © 2021

Our mailing address is:
1052 Green Acres Rd.
Eugene, OR 97408

Get in touch:
541-357-4957
info@bagsofloveinc.org

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