Remember my Warrior Bag project from last year? I was so excited to pass out bags full of goodies to help cancer patients get through their treatment days. To this day, it’s one of the projects that I’m most proud of.
It started as a small idea and to be completely honest, it blew up pretty quickly and eventually became more than I could handle on my own.
A little backstory:
I became so engulfed by this passion project of mine and I was ok with that because I absolutely loved it. I spent countless hours researching the perfect products to put in each bag, fundraising the money to be able to buy those products, and scouring the internet to get the most bang for my buck.
To save money and make the donations I received go further, I hand painted every bag with a logo I created myself. I would then get each bag ready to be shipped and spent hours in the post office typing out each individual address. It gave me something to do while I wasn’t able to work and made me feel like this terrible thing I had been through served a purpose. I NEEDED to turn my cancer into something positive and I’m proud to say I did that!
When I do something, I put my all into it. With that said, I quickly overwhelmed myself by trying to keep up with the dozens of bag requests I was getting every week, attending other fundraisers and events almost daily, juggling a full-time job with stressful hours, and recovering from my own cancer treatment. I was ashamed when I finally realized that I was totally burnt out.
“I felt like I had let everyone down”
At the time, I had given out well over 200 warrior bags to Hampton Roads residents, and still had leftover supplies which took up an entire bedroom in my tiny apartment.
It got to the point where I couldn’t even look at that stuff anymore because of the anxiety it brought me. The longer it sat there, the worse I felt.
Every time I went into my spare room and saw those supplies, a wave of guilt would rush over me. I kept thinking about the people who believed in my project and donated money or supplies to help make it a success. I felt like I had let everyone down but I just couldn’t bring myself to start it back up again. The thought alone caused me so much stress.
Now for the good news!
I’m happy to report that all of that finally changed recently! My parents came into town to visit and my mom encouraged me to finish up what I had started in late 2017. With her help, over 50 bags were put together using the remaining supplies. We decided to drop them off at the Hampton VA medical center for military veterans who were going through cancer treatment. I was supposed to go with my mom to help deliver the bags but unfortunately, I got called into work to help cover severe weather that day. My dad helped her deliver them instead and they loved doing it. I’m so glad they got to experience what had once brought me so much joy.
I wanted to let everyone know that although it was a bit delayed, the money that some of you so graciously donated all got used and put to great use. Thank you to each of you who helped make this project such a success and I feel confident in saying that together we put some smiles on the faces of people going through treatment. I couldn’t have done this alone.
Doing this reignited my love for projects like this. I desperately needed to take some time to myself to heal my own emotional wounds, but I think I’m finally ready to dive back into doing some more charity work. Stay tuned for some new projects that I’ve been working on! 🙂
13 thoughts on “Whatever happened to those Warrior Bags? Update!”
This Mom of three Marines would love to help. Please keep me updated. You’re awesome!
Just awesome !👏👏
YOU are an inspiration to us! 👍👏💪🙏♥️
The Warrior Bags helped you heal. They provided you with a great lesson on overdoing. You have nothing to be ashamed of. You ask more of yourself then anyone else ever would. I’d say that the ending could not have been any better! I hope your Mom is healing. She is still in my prayers.
Would love to help you get your bags out.
God bless you for all of your hard work through all of your trying times. There’s a special place in heaven for people like you.
What a beautiful photograph & sentiment!
Thanks for the update. It’s good to hear the project is completed. I’m glad you took the time you needed for yourself. The timeframe for completion was never a concern. Your thoughtfulness is sincere and admired .
May God to continue to bless you in a mighty way! Glad to hear you came through this terrible disease! I had cancer in 2017 & went through chemo & radiation. Was cancer free since then, but it turned out the chemo damaged the muscles on the one side of my heart! Now on heart meds, plus put on insulin shots for diabetes. So here I sit fighting all 3 of these diseases! So tired all the time & no energy to accomplish everyday things! Pray your other projects go well & May God bless you for it!
i LOVE that Chloe and your mom helped out! Crystal, as always, you are an inspiration to so many. Your drive and determination are admirable and give hope to all of us!
God Bless you for thinking of others while fighting for your own health. The Warrior Bags are a wonderful idea. I’m sure they brought a brightness to many. Is there any way to purchase a Warrior Bag?
My daughter is fighting her battle with non Hodgkin lymphoma. Her first chemo (R-CHOP) unfortunately was not curative and she is now having RICE to prepare her for a stem cell transplant. She has a very positive attitude, great doctors and vows she will beat this. I would love to send her bag ( she lives in Los Angeles) like your Warrior Bags. If they are not available, could you give me some ideas of things that I could send her?
You have a beautiful, generous spirit.
Thank God that you are a survivor💕
This is the first time I have known about your project. I think it’s a awesome idea. I know it was very appreciated for patients going thru treatment. I remember while going through chemo volunteers would bring in sandwiches, cookies and drinks. Special, but for me dealing with stomach cancer and no stomach the peanut crackers was all I could do at that time. I’m currently training as a Stomach Cancer mentor so hopefully I can give back too. Warrior Strong!!
Crystal, I am so proud of all you have been able to do and the fact you made the rest of the bags for our military members shows your love for our country. Keep up the good work you do for all and stay strong. You are such a mentor to a lot of people. I know you family is so proud of you.
You are amazing! You have to take care of yourself first ❤️ As a mom of a cancer survivor, I feel so connected to you. Thank you for taking us along on your journey💕