The Weld County chapter of Bags of Love was started in the early 2000’s. Organization of the project was inspired by a similar project in the eastern states when the late Joe and Ruth Akin were watching the Angel Network on television and saw a plea on the station to please “do something” for our children. Displaced children from a meth home environment was the basis for the program. These children, as are children from abusive and neglectful environments, are often taken from their home with only the clothes on their backs and placed into foster care. These children are the victims of our society due to the poor choices of their parents.
Joe and Ruth wanted to do something to help these displaced children and decided to start this organization in Weld and Adams County. They started by producing 8 to 16 cloth or back pack bags of contributed clothing, books, crayons, toys, and stuffed animals each month. These bags were taken to Weld and Adams County Social Services to be distributed to the children that they were placing in foster care homes.
Sister Mary Regis Leahy joined Joe and Ruth at the origin of the Bags of Love. Shortly after starting the organization several other volunteers joined. Sister Mary Regis Leahy, Flo and Bob Vos, Doreen Towney, and Sally Carrera are still current active members from the early days.
They organized the bags in a church basement. After two years they moved into Joe and Ruth’s garage for the project. After several years at that location they moved to a closed portion of the Frederick Library where they remained until they again moved to a location in Ft. Lupton.
Today there are approximately 10 Bags of Love volunteers who meet monthly to assemble the bags. They produce approximately 8 bags that are then given to Weld County Social Services to distribute. They are filled with toiletry items, school supplies, toys, books, stuffed animals and love. These handmade bags and their contents are sometimes the only items these children possess. The children who receive the bags will have the bags to help them adjust to their new environment. The bags will remain with that child forever.