Our founder Karrie Mellor, BA (Hons)
Having spent 2 years as head of her local primary school’s PTA, a chance trip to Romania inspired Karrie to launch Bags of Support in 2012.
Mother of 3, Karrie was frustrated by the amount of textile waste produced in this country and the simultaneous need for clothing abroad. With her experience on the PTA she was also well aware of how important but difficult and time consuming fundraising can be.
When friend Kinga invited Karrie to visit Romania and a local orphanage there, the solution suddenly seemed obvious and the idea Bags of Support was born.
Karrie has spent many years working overseas and in the UK in both the travel industry and business. With this experience and working with Kinga in Romania, Bags of Support was launched in the autumn of 2012.
“It’s great to be putting something back into the community both here in Sussex and in Romania. My kids are all now passionate about recycling and I hope we can inspire others to really make a difference” (Karrie – October 2012)
Our woman in Romania Kinga Bako
Kinga first came to the UK in 2008 as an au pair where she met Karrie. Since 1996 she has worked with vulnerable poor children, the elderly and a variety of Christian charities both in the UK and abroad. When she found that her local church were supporting and helping the Glodeni Orphanage which desperately need financial support, she went to Karrie for help.
With Kinga’s local knowledge and contacts, she now manages the project in Romania.
“The standard of living is still very low here compared to the UK and even basic items like decent clothing are hard to find. We have specifically choosen Glodeni (Sarpatak) Orphanage which is doing such important work but is dependent on charitable donations. It is so important to the youngsters that we do whatever we can to support them and I’m delighted to be able to help in this way.” (Kinga – October 2012)
And the Associata Sfanta Elisabeta
In the county of Mures in central Romania, the Glodeni Orphanage provides a loving home for nearly 40 children, some of whom are little more than babies. Whilst some of the children are orphans, others have been abandoned by their families who are simply unable to cope. What unites them is that they have no one to care and look out for them other than the 5 staff who run the home.
Whilst conditions in Romania have improved significantly for orphanages such as this over the last decade, many of them are still entirely reliant on charitable donations.
But sadly, there is no system of support when the children leave at 18 and many of these teenagers are simply unable to manage to make the adjustment from the orphanage to being an independent and self supporting adult.
“With job shortages, limited skills and no parental support these children don’t stand much of a chance and that’s why it’s so important to establish a half way house. This year there will be 10 teenagers leaving the orphanage and a half way house would support them, help house them, help them acquire invaluable skills and provide a mentor and network of support to give them a better chance.” Karrie Mellor.
Please contact us today or call us on 01403 710498 or 07917 797084