I have had so many pleasant surprises living in the town of Gilbert, Arizona – a place I had never even known existed until a few years ago! One of the best is the weekly, adorable farmer’s market that our downtown does on Saturdays. During one of my morning strolls through all of the white tents, past all of the families and dogs (all of which I wanted to pet!), I found a tent and table that caught my eye.
“Love is in the bag” is what the sign read. But what caught my eye before I saw that sign was the shirt that said, “Give a Damn.” Very direct! I was intrigued. It was at this time that I got to speak to two of the sweetest gals you could ever meet, and one of them happened to be the owner of this non-profit, Jennifer Cooper. It was amazing to hear her story of how LIITB began, and what they do. It’s my honor to share her story with you!
Jennifer taught high school for eight years, and decided to leave education to pursue a dream of hers, to open a coffee shop! But as it often goes, God had other plans for this woman, far more beautiful than she could have made herself. She’s a blessed mamma of four, wife, and fills her heart by filling bags full of love. A quote in her website bio was too good for me to put into my own words, “We started this project soon after we got married to teach our children the gift of giving..” Generosity could begin the moment their little hands could help fill those bags. Now those are the kind of #parentgoals I strive to live out someday 🙂
These “love bags” are filled with healthy snacks, activities and high-quality basic necessity items for the families of children battling cancer. My favorite part of their story is that this was such a simple idea, that started off so small. They used their small screen-printing business to print cute bags, filled them with some basic necessities, and took them to Phoenix Children’s Hospital. Within TWO months, and with the power of social media, friend and family support – 500 love bags had already been filled! Now they have partnerships with companies such as Dr. Bronners, Bobos, Simple Gum, Keweenaw Coffee Works, and more.
If you check out https://loveisinthebag.com you can read more about their story, read their blog posts (highly recommend if you want some serious inspiration!), but if you are like most people and have a short attention span, at the very least, watch this two minute video! You can truly see Jennifer’s heart and I know you will be moved: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gnoiVnascQM#action=share
Jennifer says this often in her blog posts, and I couldn’t agree more. We ALL have the innate desire to help others. We all CARE. But sometimes the hustle and craziness of life can easily, and frequently distract us from doing anything about that desire. So the pressing question is, “how can I help?” I’m so glad you asked!! Here are just some ideas 🙂
- Purchase their apparel (as modeled by yours truly) – you can purchase online from anywhere in the country!
- Pick up a “love bag” at their Tempe location (2140 E 5th Street Unit 8, Tempe AZ 85281), fill it, and return it! If you have kids, bring them along and see how much they love being a part of something so special!
- Donate – one time, monthly, whatever you’d like! They will do the shopping for you 🙂 – another out-of-state option!
- Order bags and have your work, church, friends, etc. get involved and fill those bags!
- Volunteer your time and energy at one of the “Love is in the bag” events! Help with set up, directing people at the event, tear down, etc! All while getting to witness the incredible life change that can happen at these events, as a bonus. Go to: https://loveisinthebag.com/how-you-can-help/ and fill out the simple volunteer form!
I hope that the story of Jennifer and her family’s nonprofit has inspired you. Maybe it’s to get involved in this non-profit, or maybe it’s that you needed to hear the message that nothing you do to help is TOO SMALL. Or maybe you needed to see that she was in one career for eight years before she even began to pursue a different dream, or that she has pursued this dream while raising four beautiful kiddos. If you’re a mom, a dad, an aunt or uncle, a grandparent…we can all agree that no child should ever have to fight cancer. And no family should have to endure seeing a little one fight so hard for the simplest things in life, or for life itself. Thank you so much to “Love is in the bag” for what you do. We are so grateful for you guys!
Xoxo Lindsey Sholtis