WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A local ministry is all about spreading love. It’s called ‘It’s My Very Own, Bags of Love’.
The non-profit gives children displaced from their home needed and comforting items.
Carol O’Heffernan, district coordinator, first found out about the ministry in Tennessee and brought the idea to Wilmington.
Each bag is handmade and given to newborns to age 17 who are taken into foster care.
Inside the bag includes a homemade comforter, sanitary items, toys, teddy bears, books, and a letter written from a child from an area church.
“When we started 3 1/2 years ago, we started with 113 bags for the whole year and so far this year we have given out 260 bags of love,” O’Heffernan said.
The ministry is sponsored by the Wilmington Seventh-day Adventist Church and Ephesus Seventh-day Adventist Church.
Although the problem will never end, numbers of those in need are only going up.
“DSS always has to remove children homes but lately the ministry has just increased tremendously because of the opioid and other types of drug addiction that is growing in our area,” O’Heffernan said.
She says this is only possible because of the community. Toys are donated from Toys for Tots, comforters are make by a local nursing home, and nearly all donations are from strangers to strangers.
“The message we want these children to have is that their community loves them and that their community cares about them and want to do something to make their transition a little easier,” O’Heffernan said.
The organization distributes bags through New Hanover County Department of Social Services, Pender County DSS, Methodist Home for Children, Good Shepherd Center, Domestic Violence Shelter & Services and the Wilmington Fire Department.
Right now she says she sends out at least 15 bags a month so if you would like to donate items or help pack bags, your help is needed.
You can contact her at CDOH888@gmail.com.