Spotlight on Charity: The Bag Ladies

By Donna Bernard

This month we are featuring the "Bag Ladies" who are a group of women at Lakewood Presbyterian Church in Jacksonville who meet and assemble “welcome bags” filled with comfort items to be donated to Hubbard House, Jacksonville’s domestic abuse shelter. Women and children often arrive there in the middle of the night with only the clothes on their backs, and as terrifying as it must be for the women, for children - the most innocent of victims - the bewilderment and fear must be incomprehensible. Every month they gather at the church to sew colorful tote bags, and then fill them with towels, donated toiletries, books, flashlights, a beanie baby, and a homemade pillow. Their goal is 45 a month. To date they have donated over 4455 bags to Hubbard House.

Since this group started over seven years ago, an additional eight Bag Lady groups have formed and are serving in the same way! Lakewood and Mandarin Methodist churches provide 'Welcome Bags' to the women at Hubbard House. The Resurrection Episcopal Church makes 'Welcome Bags' for teenagers at Hubbard House. Ladies from the historic Woodlawn Presbyterian Church make donations to the City Rescue Mission, and four other groups provide 'Welcome Bags' for shelters in Clay, Nassau, and St.Johns Counties!

The wish is that there would never be a need for these shelters but the truth is there is. So, we are thankful to all these wonderful ladies and the many gifts of time and talent that they have given over the years. This is a true labor of love for these ladies and the Alliance is happy to give them our support again this year.
For more information, contact Donna Bernard at 464-0910.