Beautifully Aging Girlfriends (BAGS) bring the Spirit of Christmas to Greenbriar Rehabilitation and Nursing Center
BAGS debuted in July 2021 in Bradenton, FL as a community club and social events planning service, with a focus on Play and Purpose for women ages 50+. BAGS Founder, Glenda Craddock stated “I’m very proud of the community we have built together. Not only have we cultivated a group of women that are good stewards within our community, but also good stewards amongst each other. We continually strive to encourage, support, and uplift one another. There is nothing an empowered sisterhood cannot achieve.”
Supporting members have access to a calendar that averages forty social events and volunteer opportunities each month. So far this year, Member Event Organizers have created over 450 social events and over fifty volunteer opportunities exclusive to its supporting members. “We have partnered with numerous local non-profit organizations such as The Blessing Bags Project, Hungers End, F.E.L.T. and Mothers Helping Mothers to name a few. I love serving others and it brings me so much joy to connect our members to the community” says the Director of Community Outreach, Charlene Johnson.
One of BAGS very own philanthropy projects is its Joyful Christmas and Holiday Shopping Boutique for the long-term residents of Greenbriar Rehabilitation and Nursing Center. Through volunteers, member and community donations, BAGS provides a realistic shopping experience at no cost to the residents that live there. The boutique is filled with clothing, shoes, personal care items, jewelry, games, electronics, activities and more. The residents receive play money and with the assistance of volunteers, they get to shop for any items they want or need. They can also shop for gifts for friends and family, all of which can be gift wrapped by the volunteers. “This shopping experience brings a sense of normalcy and joy to their lives by having the freedom to purchase items of their choice. Having choices and activities to participate in improves their quality of life” says the BAGS Founder.
Although BAGS is not a 501c3 organization, serving the community plays an integral part in the mission and purpose of its members. Administrative Director, Dawn Howdyshell stated “I invite the community to join us in our efforts to provide more items and gifts for the residents to choose from. Although we have received numerous donations, we could use more fun and essential items to enrich their lives. For information on various ways that you can participate in this wonderful opportunity, please reach out to me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. There is no greater gift then the gift of giving.”
BAGS currently have chapters in Bradenton and Sarasota. If you would like to learn more about becoming a Beautifully Aging Girlfriend, go to bags50.com for detailed information and available member subscriptions. For a firsthand view of the fun activities that you can be a part of, join our two Facebook group pages: BAGS (Beautifully Aging Girlfriends) of Bradenton and BAGS (Beautifully Aging Girlfriends) of Sarasota. The Director of Member Relations, Linda Hofer stated “I have the privilege of welcoming new ladies to our wonderful community. I encourage you to join our FREE 30-Day Trial membership and participate in any activities during your trial phase. Once a trial member, join me in a Trial Members Only meet & greet where you can ask me anything you want to know about our group.” Linda can be reached directly via email at email@example.com
BAGS member, Sharon Damico stated: “Coming from a painful place in my life, I took a leap of faith and BAGS changed my life! At my first event I was met with open arms and hugs and quickly realized that I had gained a sisterhood of friends. This group of women has given me strength and friendship and I know they will always be there for me. Take the Leap!”
Special recognition goes out to Sarasota Chapter 2 Director, Jeanne Tobie and all the member Event Organizers who plan and host the fun: Patti Phillips, Deb Hennebert, Karen Blaine, Stacey Richey, Susan Johnson, Connie Dimaggio, Gretchen Shutrump and Kim O’Dowd.
Photos from Beautifully Aging Girlfriends