The Sea Bags store in Freeport. Sea Bags has raised over $6,000 for the Lewiston-Auburn Area Response Fund since launching a new line of products called the “Love Lewiston” collection on Nov. 3. Luna Soley / The Times Record

Sea Bags has raised more than $6,000 in 10 days for the Lewiston-Auburn Area Response Fund for victims and families to help in the wake of the deadliest mass shooting in Maine’s history.

The Portland-based company, which has stores in more than 50 locations from Maine to Florida, including downtown Freeport, makes handmade bags and home decor out of recycled sails and other materials.

On Nov. 3, the company announced the release of a new “Love Lewiston” line of merchandise, featuring totes and pillows with Maine’s silhouette and a red heart marking Lewiston’s spot on the map. The company has committed to donating 30% of the sales from this collection to the Lewiston-Auburn Area Response Fund. Created by the Ellsworth-based nonprofit the Maine Community Foundation after last month’s shooting, the fund directs donations to one of two causes: support for victims and families impacted by the shooting, and broad recovery efforts and organizations in Lewiston.

Sea Bags has sold nearly 200 products from the Love Lewiston collection since it launched 10 days ago, 50 of which were custom Love Lewiston totes.

Sea Bags is one of many Maine companies to use merchandise sales to support those impacted by the Lewiston shootings, including Rogue Life Maine, Salt and Pine, and the Portland Sea Dogs.

“It’s really been heartwarming to see so many other companies and organizations working to support those impacted,” said Sea Bags CEO Don Oakes. “The collective efforts of everyone coming together have been inspiring, and I am in awe of what some have been able to do.”


Oakes said the shooting affected everyone in this small state.

“This tragedy is something that hit close to home for so many of our employees and customers,” he said. “We knew we wanted to find a way to help.”

This isn’t the first time Sea Bags has raised donations in the wake of a disaster. After the wildfires in Maui this July, it created totes to support the Maui Strong Fund and raised over $20,000. Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, sales of a bag bearing the colors of the Ukrainian flag raised $100,000 for humanitarian organizations supporting the people of Ukraine.

“We didn’t set out to undertake any of these efforts,” Oakes said, “but rather felt compelled to act and help if we could.”

Products from the Love Lewiston line are available in Sea Bags stores across Maine, including Freeport and Portland. Love Lewiston totes are available online only at

The “Love Lewiston” collection was the primary display at Sea Bag’s store in Freeport this past week. The collection features a range of Maine-themes bags and accessories as well as the company’s iconic tote emblazoned with the shape of the state and a small heart positioned over Lewiston. Luna Soley / The Times Record

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