Darien Native's Charity Brings Gifts To Kids In Need In Jamaica

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A group of children in a remote Jamaican village were among the first to benefit from a large-scale project by Goody Bags, co-founded by Darien Native Morgan Jacobs. Photo Credit: Contributed

DARIEN, Conn. – A Darien native’s passion helped more than 400 impoverished children in Jamaica enjoy a Merry Christmas.

Darien native Morgan Jacobs, now a resident of New York, has spent her years since graduating from Princeton University working in finance and no-profits. She and friend Rena Stein co-funded Goody Bags in 2012.

The nonprofit organization distributes backpacks filled with items to children living in poverty or other difficult situations. The gifts inside are tailored specifically for the recipients, and range from small toys for younger children to mp3 players for older kids. Each bag also included practical items such as toiletries, bedding, clothing and books.

“In times of uncertainty and unpredictability, GoodyBags offers a tangible and enduring sense of security, comfort and relief that all children deserve,” the two say in their mission statement.

For their latest project the two teamed up with the Bernice and Melvin Clayton Foundation, which holds a Christmas party each year for the children of St. Elizabeth Parish in a remote village in Jamaica. Goody Bags handed out their gift bags to all the partygoers. Jacobs and Stein joined the foundation on Dec. 21 to help hand out the gifts.

“We are thrilled to partner with the Foundation to fill the ever-increasing need of providing each child with toys and educational items to which they would not normally have access,” Stein said.

The nonprofit has also started helping children closer to home. In November, Goody Bags hosted a fundraiser with Providence House, a Brooklyn organization that helps homeless, abused and formerly incarcerated women and their families. The event not only presented Goody Bags to a group of Providence House families, but also helped raise money for both Providence House and Goody Bags’ work in Jamaica.

For more information or to donate to the Goody Bags cause, visit the organization’s website.

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