Hello There! My name is Tiernan Cabot, I’m 12 years old, and I am the founder of Hartford Bags of Love. I have always been interested in giving back to people all of my life. At age 9, I was inspired by a man who told me about his life on the streets, and advice he gave me. I really wanted to give back to my community as much as I could. I’ve worked together with my parents, and of course with the endless support from my community, we have made these bags for the last three years. Our ‘bags of love’ include items such as a toothbrush, toothpaste, soaps, socks, and deodorant. We also provide a handwritten card in every bag.
Each bag costs about $4.50. We have also collaborated with local companies, such as Imperial Oil, to collect sleeping bags to be distributed during the winter months. I think that these are all important items to have, but especially the handwritten card. People are so easily lost in a situation like this. These cards have been a beacon of hope to the people who receive them, as it shows them that they are not alone. With our community’s support and donations, we have grown and gotten so many people helping out. We always strive to provide our bags wherever they’re needed, and to whoever needs it.
Over the years, our bags have been provided to local police departments to be kept in their cruisers, a number of homeless outreach programs held in the city of Hartford, as well as to states affected by recent hurricanes. We also hand them out on the streets whenever and wherever we find a need for them. We have partnered with several organizations and individuals, such as Officer Jim Barrett, who is the Homeless Outreach Advocate for the Hartford Police Department, Footwear with Care, the organization that hosts an annual boot drive in Hartford City Hall, Pedal Through Youth, an organization founded by Officer Bob Charland of Massachusetts, and State Senator Saud Anwar, who has been instrumental in making connections with local legislators, and providing me a platform to speak about my cause in a public hearing at the state capital. He also recently co-hosted a sleepout to raise awareness of homelessness with me.
We have also had support from U.S. Senator Blumental. I am looking forward to making more connections and collaborations with organizations that have similar missions as mine. We have plans to work with Liam’s Lunches of Love soon, and I am excited to collaborate with a fellow youth who is driven to help as well.
My hope is that many other youth my age will be inspired by what we do and take actions in their respective communities as well.