Valley family filling tote bags of love for those in need

Posted at 5:58 AM, Sep 20, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-20 13:19:37-04

A Valley family is taking the message of love far beyond their own home and spreading it through tote bags full of much-needed items.

They had no idea a simple gesture would turn into something so big. The words printed on those bags are not just words for Jennifer Cooper. They're more about a life lesson she's trying to teach her own children.  

"I think humans want to give and be nice," said Cooper. "That's what we want to do - just life gets in the way."

But Cooper and her husband didn't want life to get in the way of showing their own kids how to give. Since they were so young, it was hard to find a charity where they could volunteer.

So, they decided to do their own thing and printed bags, filling them with items for the homeless. Jennifer posted her idea on Facebook and the idea caught on. Within two months, 500 bags were filled. Now, they're filling bags for the homeless, young cancer patients and foster kids. 

"That's what people always ask me. Who in your family has cancer? Who in your family is homeless? It's like no one. But I just feel bad. We don't have to have something devastating happen to us in order to help people."

Today, more than 4,000 love bags have been filled and passed out around the Valley. As for that life lesson she hoped to teach her kids, Jennifer knew it was sinking in when she drove through a low income neighborhood.

"She's like mom, I think all these people need a love bag. Look at their home, it's falling apart," said Cooper.  "I always want them to not wait for someone to say I need help."