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Meet Archana Liggins

Today we’d like to introduce you to Archana Liggins.

Archana Liggins is the personification of what it means to want to serve and love the community. She is an alum of Governor’s State University, where she earned her Bachelor’s degree in Health Care Administration and a Master’s degree in Communications. Not only has Archana excelled in the areas of education—she is the epitome of what it means to have a servant’s heart!

I have worked diligently to ensure that families are receiving food and resources in underserved areas of Illinois and has made a positive impact in various communities by ensuring that the need is being met and families are being served. I currently work as an Agency Relations Area Leader with the Northern Illinois Food Bank, where I work with the food pantries, soup kitchens and feeding sites in the southern region counties of Illinois.

I have made a positive impact in these various communities by ensuring that the families, in need, have access to nutritious meals on a consistent basis and has proven to be a leader in my field by implementing and coordinating meal distributions for areas that were not receiving any food distribution. Through my tenacity and dedication, those coordination efforts have allowed those areas to now have regular disbursements of healthy meals.

In 2019, I launched my non-profit organization; BAG Lady Outreach. BAG Lady Outreach wants to impact the lives of men and women by providing basic necessities to alleviate the burden of accessing toiletries, water, books, bags, and personal care items. Before launching for 5 years, I collected and distributed 1,400 bags and purses for my annual birthday giveback that started in 2015 for my 38th Birthday! In 2019, BAG Lady Outreach distributed 4,500 purses in its first year of incorporating. The distribution of purses and bags went to the community to women & men in need at shelters, food pantries, group homes and outreach events for families in need Last year, she also collected books for kids and helping to promote literacy with kids in underserved communities (over 400 books for Spring Break to a school in Chicago grades 4th -10th).

Recently, it was announced that Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc., selected me as the winner of its “Remarkable Women” initiative. The three-month nationwide campaign honoring the outstanding contributions that women have made to the country and its local communities, and I was chosen as the “Nexstar Woman of the Year” from among more than 10,000 women nominated from Nexstar’s 114 markets across the country!

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
I’m actually grateful for the good struggles that I have had as a founder of BAG Lady Outreach. I have had so many donations of products to bless many with of bags, purses, toiletry items, accessories and jewelry for women, men and children, I outgrew the garage space that I was utilizing for storage because donations were overflowing and was blessed with a storage space to now hold theses donations.

BAG Lady Outreach – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
BAG Lady Outreach was birthed in 2014 by Archana Liggins after being inspired by the outreach work, she completed in her corporate role at a local food bank. Working with food pantries, soup kitchens and group homes in the counties within the southern region of northern Illinois, Archana noticed a huge demand for resources and began personal outreach efforts in the Chicagoland area and surrounding suburbs.

In addition to working in the industry for many years, Archana and her family volunteers every 4th Sunday at a soup kitchen. A servant at heart, Archana began organizing her own outreach initiatives, collecting books for the youth and gently used purses, bags, jewelry and accessories for those in need. Pretty soon her extended family, friends, and church members were inspired and began donating items and toiletries to contribute to her vision.

Within six years, Archana has directly impacted the lives of many individuals impacted by poverty, supplying them with nearly 6,500 purses/bags filled with basic necessities that many of us take for granted. In the Spring of 2019, BAG Lady Outreach officially became a nonprofit organization. Archana’s mantra is “If we know better… let’s do better.” She is committed to supporting underserved communities by providing resources for those in need while restoring their dignity and inspiring positive community impact by creating opportunities for people to donate and volunteer.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
Having the heart to serve people and being committed to the community in my career and personal life as well as having the passion for building social capital. Also believing that everyone deserves to be treated with kindness and respect! Having these criteria allows me to be passionate about everything and graces me to do things in the spirit of excellence!

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