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Lane County Back in Extreme Risk Category
Effective Monday, May 3, we will temporarily close the warehouse to incoming donations. We will continue to accept and fill bag requests from our agency partners. As always, our goal is to keep our staff, volunteers, and the community safe while still meeting the needs of Lane County children in crisis.
The Stories at the Heart of Our Work
One of the best parts of Bags of Love is hearing from the people whose lives our organization has touched. It reminds us that the bags we produce in the warehouse aren't just anonymous orders - they go to a real child, a real parent, and make a real difference. 

Kiona just started sewing bags and fleece blankets for us, and when she dropped off her first donation, she jokingly told us she had to refer to the bag she received for her own daughter in order to sew the new ones. Here's what Kiona had to say:

I got a Bag of Love when I first entered residential treatment back in 2016. My daughter was just born. I was DHS-involved and had the weight of the world on my shoulders. Terrified to be a new mother. Terrified to be sober. And I will never forget when I got my bag. It made me feel like I was seen, like I mattered. and It made me realize that it takes a village to raise children, and there is no shame in asking for help, accepting help, etc. It allowed me to feel love through all the shame and guilt. It reminded me that I WAS lovable when I didn't feel like it.

If a Bag of Love can have that great an impact on one person, imagine what the 3,000 bags we delivered last year alone can do.
It's That Time of Year
Our new warehouse has lots of storage space for tubs of off-season clothing
When the weather gets warmer, it's time to replace winter jackets with lightweight sweatshirts and fleece PJs with shorts and T-shirts. Our crew of volunteers will soon be busy bringing out the bins of spring and summer clothing and putting away our winter inventory. It's a big job, since we stock clothing in sizes infant through Adult 4XL.

The twice-yearly shift is always a good time to evaluate where we're short on items heading into the new season. If you're looking to donate, here are some of the things we need to boost our spring/summer inventory:
  • Lightweight jackets and hoodies for boys and girls in sizes 3T and 4T, and adult sizes M, L and XL
  • Basketball shorts in all boys' and men’s sizes
  • Lightweight pajamas for boys and girls in all sizes
  • Long pants for boys in sizes 3T and 4T; and for girls in size 9/10
  • Boys' underwear in sizes XS and S
Because the warehouse will be closed to donations while Lane County remains in the Extreme Risk category, we ask that you hang on to your donations until the restrictions are relaxed in the next few weeks. Thank you for your understanding!
Saying Goodbye to a Treasured Staff Member
Becky Stenzel, Karissa Ockander, and Melissa Finch at the 2017 Bags of Love Dinner and Auction
The staff and volunteers at Bags of Love are sad to be losing our longtime Office Manager, Karissa Ockander. She has played an integral role in our ability to nearly double our outreach in the five years she has been with us. In addition to pulling off the major logistical lift of an annual backpack giveaway for hundreds of children, Karissa ran a seamless check-in/out process at the Bags of Love Dinner and Auction, and brought positive energy and warmth to the office. We will miss her dedication, attention to detail, and her many talents - but most of all, we will miss her as a friend and coworker who put her heart into everything she did.

We are currently looking for someone to fill Karissa's position and will be hiring a part-time Office Manager/Administrative Assistant to work three days a week, generally 5 hours each day. If you know someone who interested in working with a local nonprofit, please forward this newsletter or share this job description:

This staff position covers a variety of job responsibilities ranging from answering phones, working with our agency partners, and ordering supplies to coordinating our annual backpack distribution and assisting with fundraising events. This person also oversees the work of two part-time office assistants who help with donor acknowledgment, inventory, and agency tracking.

The right candidate will have:
  • A friendly and positive attitude 
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Experience in business operations 
  • Be highly organized with an ability to multi-task and handle interruptions
  • Very strong computer skills, including experience with Excel and Google Docs/Sheets/Calendar, and CRM software 
  • The ability to prioritize projects and manage time efficiently.
  • Strong problem-solving skills. We are a growing organization 
  • The ability to bend, reach, and lift 25 lbs. comfortably
  • Be compassionate about our community and comfortable working with people from diverse backgrounds.
To apply, please submit a cover letter and resume to:
Bags of Love
1052 Green Acres Road
Eugene, OR 97408.

No phone calls, please.
Top-Notch Donors
In April, three donors stood out in particular:
  • Bruns' Apple Market, a wonderful, locally-owned market that has sent several quarterly donations.
  • Judith Hanna, who made another generous donation.
  • Andersen Construction, a Portland-based company with a satellite office in Eugene. Many of Andersen's employees voted late last year for Bags of Love to receive funds from the company’s annual giving project.
Thank you!
Volunteer of the Month
This month's standout volunteer is JoAnn Hoffman, a member of the Auction Committee who heads up donation requests - and does an amazing job at it. She has spent countless hours reaching out to local, regional and out-of-state businesses to secure auction donations. Even with the challenges of the pandemic, she is already getting some incredible items, packages, and experiences for this year’s event. 
JoAnn and Richard Hoffman at the 2016 Auction
March Highlights

In March, we distributed 217 bags, for a total value of $35,840.

Our biggest order came from St. Vincent de Paul First Place Family Center, which requested 52 bags. The following agencies and organizations also helped us touch the lives of children this month:

  • Academy of Arts and Academics
  • Awbrey Park Elementary
  • Catholic Community Services
  • Centro Latino Americano
  • Chávez Elementary
  • DHS - Chad Drive
  • DHS - Springfield
  • DHS - West Eugene
  • Direction Service
  • Eugene McKinney-Vento Program
  • Friends of the Children
  • Lane County WIC
  • Lane ESD Migrant Education
  • Monroe Middle School
  • Pearl Buck Center
Cindy McKendrick puts the finishing touches on a bag for DHS
Copyright © 2021

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

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