FBI Honors Oregon Nonprofit with National Award
On Friday, May 3, 2019, FBI Director Christopher Wray presented Bags of Love with the FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award (DCLA) for its service to children of Oregon. Receiving the award on behalf of Bags of Love was Becky Stenzel, founder of the Eugene-based nonprofit. This organization focuses much of its work on children living in crisis due to neglect, abuse, poverty, or homelessness.
Bags of Love delivered approximately 2,200 bags in 2018 and is on track to surpass that number in 2019. Volunteers donate more than 13,000 hours a year to this amazing effort. Each bag is thoughtfully filled with a handmade quilt; gender and age-appropriate necessities, including one or two outfits, a jacket or coat, socks and underwear; and school supplies. Each child also receives a stuffed animal, toiletries and books, and toys or games. Often, the items in these “bags of love” are the only possession these children can call their own.
“We are truly honored to be receiving the Director’s Community Leadership Award from the FBI. This award is such a wonderful acknowledgement of not just the work being done at Bags of Love, but also a recognition of our dedicated staff and volunteers and the community who supports us. We are grateful for the opportunity to partner with the FBI to further assist children and teens who are at risk or in crisis,” said Executive Director Becky Stenzel of Bags of Love.
Special Agent in Charge of the Portland Field Office, Renn Cannon, states: “It is an honor for the FBI to partner with Bags of Love over the course of many years. On a regular basis, we are passing their donations to human trafficking survivors, kids affected by child sex abuse and child sex tourism cases, victims of international parental kidnapping, and more. These bags allow the donors and volunteers to give a child dignity while giving law enforcement officers a chance to build trust with those most impacted by trauma.”
The FBI established the DCLA in 1990 to publicly acknowledge the achievements of those working to make a difference in their communities through the promotion of education and the prevention of crime and violence. Each year 56 recipients from across the country are chosen to receive this prestigious award.