TOLEDO, Ohio — Some local teens in need in the Toledo area are getting some help with basic necessities, all wrapped up beautifully in a hand-sewn bag.
They're called Bags of Love. Each one is sewn and put together by a local group called Bags of Love 419, who are partnering with the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library this year.
They say it's all done to spread hope and love to kids who may not get a lot of that at home.
Although they've been doing this for a few years, Davidia Seevers says it's the first year working with the library.
"As far as the library is concerned that's just something that's brand new and we haven't had the feedback yet but we're very excited about what we can do," said Seevers.
The Bags of Love are hand packed with things like hygiene products, toiletries, games, school supplies, snacks, water bottles, hats, scarves, and feminine hygiene products.
Kim Penn, with the Toledo Lucas County Public Library, says the items "are things that anybody would need. These are necessities especially aimed at people who are in dire need."
So far twenty Bags of Love have been delivered to the main library downtown.
Penn says they have been seeing the need since they are experiencing an influx of teens that hang out until closing time at the library, especially since the pandemic began.
Angel Myers with Bags of Love says it's all put together right here in the community by a group of about 75 local volunteers.
"Not everyone is together at the same time. We have different people working on different projects. We have people who make scarves and hats for us at home that we've never even met," said Myers.
The best part she says is seeing the joy and hope on the faces of those they are able to help, kids and teens who " feel blessed, and like they mattered and loved."
The folks over at Bags of Love get together on the third Saturday of each month from 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. for sewing parties, with the next one scheduled for December 11 (due to the upcoming holidays).
Anyone is welcome to attend, they just need to bring a portable sewing machine, and if they don't sew, there are plenty of other things to do such as turn out bags and feed drawstrings, and prepare items for packing.
Bags of Love 419 offices are located in the O'Reilly Building, 4400 Moline-Martin Rd., Ste. 104, in Millbury, Ohio.
If you would like to donate money or items for the effort can be dropped off in the groups donation box from Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. in the donation box at the door, Tuesday from 5:30 -7 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.
You can also contact Bags of Love by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 419-350-9054.
Bags of Love says they are looking for these items:
- Baby Bottles
- Baby Shampoo/Lotion
- Baby Wipes
- Bar Soap
- Body Wash (men/women/children)
- Books (children)
- Coloring Books (kids/adult/word search)
- Crayons/Markers/Colored Pencils
- Deodorant (men/women)
- Diaper Cream
- Disposable Razors/Shaving Cream
- Fabric, thread, ribbon, cording
- Feminine hygiene products
- Flip Flops/Shower Shoes (kids/adults)
- Gift Cards (Amazon/Meijer/Walmart, etc.)
- Hair Clips/Ties/Headbands
- Hand Sanitizer (pocket size)
- Lotion (kids/adult)
- School Supplies (pens, pencils, note pads, rulers, erasers, scissors)
- Shampoo (2 in1 or 3 in 1 for men)
- Soccer Balls/Pumps
- Small toys (balls, dolls, matchbox cars, etc.)
- T-shirts that can be made into drawstrings and jump ropes
- Tissues (pocket size)
- Tools (small hammers, tape measure)
- Underwear (men/women/children)
- Wash cloths/Scrubbies
- Yarn for knitting/crocheting hats/scarves
- Monetary donations