Each night, hundreds of thousands of kids go to sleep without beds—a crisis many say has been overlooked.

In a 2007 report, it was estimated that over 250,000 children nationwide would sleep on floors every night.  That number was too great for National Furniture Bank Association Executive Director Don Lawrence.

“If every company in the industry donated a few hundred dollars, or each person gave even $20, we could double or triple the number of furniture banks in America,” said Lawrence. “I know that people in the industry have big hearts, and it’s time for them to show it.”

Locally, there has been action on that front.  Dealhunters Furniture (DHF) and Habitat for Humanity have joined forces to launch the “Bunk Beds for Kids” campaign which will provide beds for kids Habitat already serves.

“Habitat already has families in homes and we thought that would be a good start,” said Miriam Pollin, a consultant of DHF.  “They’ve already addressed a need, shelter, and we would address the other need, which would be to provide a bed for kids.”

Neal Glickfield, president of DHF, said the idea to partner with Habitat was born out of wanting to help out in the wake of the Haiti earthquake disaster. 

“I was at this big closeout at a warehouse and saw these beds that were overpriced,” Glickfield said.  “I just thought I’d like to donate these to the kids in Haiti.”

However, going through the process made him realize that donating to Haiti was a bit ambitious at this point and the focus turned to the immediate area.

In total, over 1,000 beds will be donated to the families in need.  Not only will families have the opportunity to receive a new bed, they’ll have options.

“We sent a letter and a form to all the families,” said Virginia Patton, marketing and communications manager for Habitat for Humanity-Northern Virginia.  “The families will respond to it telling us which one they’d like – whether it would be girl set or a boy set – then, the beds will be delivered.”

Given the level of need, Habitat’s Patton said the organization is happy they are able to serve in this capacity.

“The families are excited to be able to get new beds and we’re thrilled to be a part of this partnership,” said Patton.

 

George Barnette

Special to the AFRO