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To the Editor:
Our organization, Beds 4 Kids, has been so blessed with the support of our community, our volunteers, and the Barron, Chippewa and Dunn County Human Services Departments. By sharing the word about B4K and reaching out to the families in need, and through your interest and support, you have helped us fulfill our dream of “providing a comfortable and cozy place to sleep” for those children who are in need of a bed.
It isn’t only the need to have a bed to sleep in. It goes way beyond that. A lot of these children in need have been removed from their home, and possibly their parents, and placed with another family who wasn’t expecting to have additional children entering their home at the request of a phone call.
Many of these kids leave their homes with nothing that was theirs. No clothes, toys, personal belongings, nor beds. They feel unsettled and have been separated from the life they know. They are insecure, not knowing what tomorrow will be. They may become withdrawn or have problems in school or with social activity.
But, giving these children the gift of a bed, that was given only to them, with their own bedding and quilt, helps give them a sense of importance, that someone cares for them, that the community and people they don’t even know, cares about them and for their well-being.
We have had 13 year-old-boys, who usually are unemotional to others, especially people they haven’t seen before, come up to us after their beds are assembled and bedding made, and give us hugs and say, “Thank you. I love my bed.” This is what this project is all about.
Community involvement was another desire for us when starting this project. It has been so wonderful for us to see kids ages six and up, working with the adults, even the senior members of our volunteers, during our build days. It has been so fun to watch the youth learn, and the adults teaching, with the kids experiencing the joy of giving and making for others.
This past year, we have had two “Build Days.” Our first was in April of 2019, which truly was a learning experience for both of us. Our crew that day made 10 twin beds. We had 40 volunteers attend, and from this first experience, we learned what we wanted to change for our next Build Day, which most importantly, was the design of the beds we make.
We changed our Build Day bed to the plan that “Herb the Builder” has used for making our bunk beds.
On October 12, we held our second build day. Herb was the orchestrator of the process, and with the help of 52 volunteers ages 10 and up, we sanded and assembled and were able to put 20 more twin beds into our storage facility for winter deliveries.
There were many new faces at our second build day, and we hope that the curiosity of the public continues, and next spring for our Build Day, we can have many more new faces, besides our familiar ones.
We want you to know we appreciate your interest and support, whether it was as a volunteer in the building process, a donor of a bed to repurpose, a financial donor, bed and/or bedding donor, or maybe you assisted with food for the build days, made quilts or maybe you helped spread the word about our program. None of this would be possible without all of you. When we get smiles from these kids as we deliver beds to them, they are smiling at you as well.
Thanksgiving Blessings to you and your family from Beds 4 Kids,
Robyn Lee and Chelsea Reese