Glasgow Daily Times, Glasgow, KY

April 27, 2013

Build-a-Bed: A Labor of Love

By Shelley Smith
Glasgow Daily Times

GLASGOW —

It took the team of about 41 Build-a- Bed volunteers only approximately two hours to complete 35 bed frames in the Trojan Academy gymnasium Saturday.

This is the second annual Build-a-Bed event, which combined the efforts of the local Ateam AmeriCorps, facilitator of the event, Barren County, Glasgow and Caverna Schools family resource centers and several community volunteers. The family resource centers provided the team with names and addresses of families who needed a bed for their child. Many of the volunteers said they felt it was a labor of love to be able to help children have a bed of their own.

AmeriCorps is an organization that offers adults of all ages and backgrounds to serve through a network of partnerships with local and national nonprofit groups. The first year AmeriCorps held a Build-a-Bed event was in 2010. A group of more than 700 volunteers built 557 beds in a 24-hour blitz in Frankfort.

Since the event was so successful the first year, Build-a-Bed sought to find ways to bring the effort on a more local basis, working with schools, businesses and the local AmeriCorps teams.

Donna Morgan, Ateam AmeriCorps program director said she loves how this community service brings so many people together. The Glasgow Mattress Outlet allowed them to purchase the mattresses at cost and Lowe’s helped the group by giving them a discount on lumber. Marty Wheaton, carpentry shop worker at T.J. Samson Community Hospital and a few others worked to stain the lumber.

Austin Tracey Elementary and other local schools held blanket drives to gather sheets, blankets and other bedtime essentials for the bedtime baskets given to each child with their new bed. Ten women from the First Christian Church Quilting Ministry created all the handmade pillowcases for each bedtime basket.

For Shannon Heacock, it was her second year volunteering for Build-a-Bed. Heacock was one of about 20 volunteers from a local church, Highland Hills Community Church, who helped on Saturday. Heacock said she loves knowing that what’s she doing is helping a child who doesn’t have a bed. She said she knows how important is it that children all able to get a good night’s rest.

“I like helping deliver the beds and seeing the look of the kids’ faces. It’s priceless,” she said. “It’s just like Christmas morning.”

Tamara Smith, a 2011 Barren County High School graduate, and several others added some creative flair to the bed slats decorating them with artwork or inspirational words. Smith chose to use a quote from one of her favorite movies “The Help,” “You is kind, you is smart, you is important.”

It was Caverna Independent Schools first year to collaborate with Glasgow Independent Schools and the Barren County School District to take part in Build-a-Bed, and Donte Paul, a math interventionist at Caverna Elementary, loved it.

Paul said events like this allow him to touch the lives of students outside of the classroom setting. He said he especially enjoyed all the handmade intricate details, such as the designed bed slats, that really allowed volunteers put a lot of love into making the beds.

“Having a bed is something they’ll never forget for the rest of their lives,” he said. “It teaches us not to take things for granted.”