Co-Founder and CEO of My Stuff Bags Janeen Holmes is giving American children who are rescued from abuse, neglect or abandonment something to hold on to. This small but powerful gesture gives these children the realization that they are not alone and that someone cares for them.
Janeen co-founded My Stuff Bags Foundation 28 years ago. The non-profit organization provides belongings to children who have been rescued from abuse, neglect and abandonment across the United States. A duffle bag filled with necessities such as toys, toiletries, school supplies, clothing and a blanket, gives them something to call their own and a sense of worth, as their young lives endure the transitions of living in shelters or foster care.
Today My Stuff Bags has grown into a 7,000 square foot warehouse operation that has nationwide status. As Co-Founder and CEO, Janeen Holmes oversees all operations, development and donor relationships. It’s clear that love is put into each bag, whether it’s homemade dolls donated by a 100 year old woman, or authentic sportswear donated by the LA Rams, every item that goes into the bag is donated with love and care. With over 500,000 stuffed bags donated to abused or neglected children across the U.S. since it’s inception, My Stuff Bags is giving out hope one bag at a time.
How Does It Work?
This unique organization brings together individual donations (both monetary and personal care items) and a volunteer workforce to produce personally designed duffle bags that are delivered to child service agency partners who then distribute the bags to children in need. Every bag contains both new personal care items and comfort items such as clothing, toys, a stuffed animal, school supplies, toiletries and a warm security blanket. A My Stuff Bags becomes a “Psychological First Aid” kit and addresses the needs of children entering foster care or crisis shelters with little or no personal belongings. To date, My Stuff Bags has worked with over 1,500 agencies in 50 states.
Although My Stuff Bags has reached a milestone of 500,000 bags donated already, there is still a lot of work to be done. Every year nearly 300,000 children enter crisis centers or foster care as a result of abuse or neglect. This growing number means more items, donations and time are needed. My Stuff Bags has set a new goal of another 500,000 bags, making all the difference to children across the nation in their greatest time of need.
How You Can Get Involved
- Donate Funds: It takes approximately $25 to create a My Stuff Bag for one child. You can also support My Stuff Bags when shopping on Amazon, select My Stuff Bags Foundation as your charity. Log onto http://smile.amazon.com.
- Donate Stuff: Enlist your company, family and friends to collect new items or handmade blankets and send to the address listed on the site.
- Donate Time: Visit the Westlake Village Volunteer Center to fill the duffels, make blankets, re-package special large donations, make toiletry bags or help with other preparation activities.
- Spread The Word: Start by sharing this post. Follow and retweet @MyStuffBags and promote their next fundraising event like the Lennon Family Benefit Concert.
Janeen Holmes is making a difference with My Stuff Bags both in the lives of each child that receives a bag and in the lives of everyone involved in making it happen. What better gift could you give than that of comfort in a dark time for these children.