I’m Stranjae’ and founder of Love Bags, an annual service-based initiative promoting year-round service and community support. What better time to offer this dynamic act of giving than during one of our most love-filled holidays, Valentine’s Day! Hence the name, Love Bags. In 2016, Valentine’s Day presented personal life challenges for me when dealing with a failed relationship. I yielded to self love and discovered selfless love. The following year, I decided to honor the vision God gave me to serve.
In 2017, I rallied my graduate school classmates and we journeyed the streets of Atlanta, GA to distribute about 20 Love Bags to members of our community who were in need. Within minutes, we had more members to serve than bags. I understood then how there’s a greater need and the assignment would require a larger community of supporters. As a public health professional, emphasizing service to homeless and disabled populations was important to help reduce public health risks associated with these growing populations. As a servant-leader, Love Bags was to communicate and model the importance of a caring and supportive community for all, regardless of where we are on life’s journey.
My yes has opened doors to partnerships, valuable connections, and memorable service opportunities. Over the years, the impact from Love Bags has been felt in Northern Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, D.C. communities as well. Personally, I won’t forget the many stories from women and men who expressed how thankful they were to be on someone’s mind in this way. This couldn’t have been done without executing the vision God gave me and receiving generous donations from people like you. Despite uncertainties in our present world, I’ve watched how this outreach opportunity has not only blessed me but also supporters who invest their time and resources into bettering someone else’s situation.
When Cupid’s Arrow strikes you, I look forward to partnering with you through this dynamic act of giving. Until then, remember to do EVERYTHING in love!