Bags of Love for fire victims, kids around the world
by Hawkins Teague
Sep 20, 2006 | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Trigg County charity group It’s My Very Own -- Bags of Love had call in extra recruits when the Barkley Manor apartments burned down.

IMVO puts homemade quilts, toys and hygiene products into bags (which they also make) to distribute to children who have to be removed from their parents’ homes, usually because of drug abuse problems. Most of the time when children are taken away from their parents, they can’t bring anything with them, whether it is clothing, toys or a toothbrush. They provide this service through Child Protective Services.

“It breaks our heart when we have to do it, but we’re glad we have them to hand out,” Neher said.

After the fire, though, IMVO founder Barbara Neher received a call from the Red Cross. They wanted to know if she would be willing to provide the same service for the children who lost their homes, since most of them lost everything they owned. Neher said she would do it and called up volunteers from the Trigg County Quilter’s Guild and got to work. Starting on Tuesday, one week after the fire, they set out to make quilts and fill a total of 19 bags. They finished Saturday night. In addition to that, they also created “comfort bags” for the mothers, something that was new to the charity.

Neher started IMVO two years ago because of sad situation in her own life, and it has come a long way since then. Neher’s youngest daughter had two children in Idaho and a serious drug addiction. She was going to lose custody of them, and if Neher didn’t come get them, they would have been put in foster homes. So she and her husband, Jack, flew to Idaho to get these boys who had never laid eyes on her.

After this experience, Neher said she saw just how much drugs were tearing families apart and she wanted to do something to help all those children who would have to be ripped out of the world they knew. She prayed about it and eventually decided to make the bags and coordinate with CPS. She said she decided to call her charity It’s My Very Own because the bags are usually the only thing the kids can claim ownership for after they leave home. She said she can’t take credit for the idea or anything the organization has done.

“The Lord had a plan,” she said. “He’s the one that designed it. No one else could have made it work the way it has.”
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