Margaret Henley

Difference Maker

When Margret Henley asks for something, she usually gets it. Perhaps it’s good fortune or maybe it’s part of a bigger plan that God has for her life. Either way, Margret doesn’t get stressed about the many challenges and needs that present themselves to a ministry she coordinates in Marshall County called Bags of Love.

It’s that positive spirit and Margret’s love for the children in her community that inspired fellow Marshall County resident, Tamara Lambert, to nominate Margret to be VUE Magazine’s Difference Maker of the month for June.

“Margret is the true meaning of love and dedication to others,” Tamara says. “She is truly a gem and Marshall County is fortunate and blessed to have such a giving and inspiring woman in our midst. She is truly doing God’s work and is very deserving of recognition.”

The Difference Maker program is a new program in which VUE has invited the community to participate. With assistance from local business sponsors, West Kentucky Garage Builders and Socially Present, each month VUE will award one outstanding person with a Difference Maker Award. At the end of 12 months those winners will all be entered to win $5,000, half of which will be donated to the charity of their choice.

While some people search for a lifetime to find their personal mission, Margret’s mission found her. In fact, it was a pressing need to create more storage space for the non-profit Bags of Love organization, and Margret’s under-utilized garage that made her the perfect candidate to help with Bags of Love. It wasn’t long before she found herself coordinating the entire program.

For those unfamiliar with Bags of Love, it’s a program that reaches out to children who have been removed from homes where methamphetamine has been produced or used in the home. Children living in these conditions are forced to leave all of their belongings behind, including sentimental items, toys and the clothes on their back. Every item that comes from their homes have been contaminated by methamphetamine and children are forced to start over with very little to comfort them during this extreme time of crisis.

Margret and her team of volunteers fill hand-made duffle bags with age-appropriate clothing, toys and a hand-made quilt. These “bags of love” are delivered to the children as they enter their new homes or foster care. It’s the hope of Margret and the other volunteers at Bags of Love that these simple bags will provide soothing comfort and hope to children whose lives are torn apart through no choice of their own.

Today, recruiting local homemakers and church groups to sew small duffle bags, and collecting toys and other essential items for children in crisis, is just a normal part of Margret’s daily routine.  No matter how what needs arise in her community, Margret keeps a calm spirit and trusts that God will provide everything the organization needs to help the children and families in Marshall County.

“When I need something, it just appears,” she says.

This 70-something year old woman has dedicated her retirement years to helping people in need. In addition to her volunteerism through Bags of Love, she also devotes several hours each week to other non-profit organizations, including the HUGS project, the local food pantry, Marcella’s Kitchen and a Stephens Minister, a counseling ministry of the United Methodist Churches in Marshall County.

While Margret’s weekly tasks may seem exhausting, even to those fifty years her junior, she always seems to find the energy to keep serving her community. Her dedication to the children and families of Marshall County is not only inspiring, but motivating to those whose paths cross with hers.

For more information on how to support the Bags of Love ministry, visit their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/pages/BAGS-OF-LOVE/271627749598?fref=nf.

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