87 More People Are Sleeping In Beds
Since 1999, Free Stuff 4 Daily Needs has been assisting people in our region to get a better night’s sleep. When a family is dealing with financial distress, a further complication arises when the need for a bed becomes apparent. In 2016, this ministry was able to assist a total of 87 Men, Women, Children and even Infants with some sort of sleep assistance.
Where Do These Beds Come From?
Our ministry of basic household item humanitarian aid wouldn’t be possible without other caring community members and their donations. We accept gently used items to re-purpose in the community among families and people, unable to afford to purchase these same items at retail or even thrift store prices.
However, not all beds that are offered as a donation are or can be accepted.
All beds donated must be clean from stains, mold, second-hand smoke, bed bugs, and tears or rips. Beds that are displaying stains of body fluids and the such are absolutely refused. If a mattress is too old, (20 years or more), we may refuse those as well. There are times when it is obvious that the springs are sprung and the mattress is no longer capable of holding shape. When you lean the spring mattress against the wall and it bows like a “U”, you know it is time for this bed to be retired to the dump.
This bed was in acceptable condition and quickly found a home.
Warranty Beds from Sears Canada
Up until the late summer of 2016, a local Sears Catalog Store Owner, when possible, would make some beds available to us. Most would be the beds from customers purchasing new Sears beds. As he offered a service to remove their old beds, if and when, he found beds that could still be re-purposed with our clients, he would give us a call.
In addition, occasionally there were incidences of newly purchased beds being returned under warranty terms. Quite often it could be anything from the manufacturer sewing machine missing 1 inch of stitches on the piping edge to the bed being too soft, or too hard.
Many times it is too expensive for the bed company to have the beds returned to their factories for repair. And as many of these warranty beds have been slept on, even if only for a night or two, they are unable to resell that bed.
So rather than send these still perfectly good beds to the dump when so many people are sleeping on the floor, this Sears Catalog Outlet Store Owner would pass them on to us. However, this gentleman has now fully retired, and Sears Canada has closed down not only his Catalog Outlet Store, but all of the other ones in our region, including the one in our own hometown.
But until his retirement, Barry and I would travel to his store’s storage area, pick up these beds and bring them back to our storage unit. Next, I would then go through our extensive waiting list and start contacting clients on the waiting list. We’ve had clients stand in our driveway crying with appreciation when they’ve seen some of these beds. When you’ve been sleeping on a floor or maybe a couch for months, a proper mattress is a welcome relief.
A Bed Brings Empowerment
And more than that, because a good night’s sleep leads a person to be EMPOWERED towards a HOPE and a FUTURE.
Imagine being able to wake up in the morning refreshed—suddenly everything in life looks better.
- Maybe today, you will find a job.
- Or the kids are no longer getting sick because they now can be tucked in at night nice and snug, instead of a catching a draft.
- Your back is no longer stiff and sore.
- The list can go on and on about the benefits of a good night’s sleep in a bed.
So What Bed Parts Did We Hand Out?
There are many parts of putting a bed together for a family in need. Sometimes it is just a minor situation such as a bed frame, some sheets, blankets or a pillow. However, there are also needs for cribs, toddler beds, and bunk bed frames. Most often, though, we are needing to find mattresses and box springs for people.
In 2016 we were able to put a wide variety of donated items together to compile bed solutions for 87 people. People that ranged in age from newborn to elderly. These are the items that were collected and subsequently passed onto new homes, leading to a good night’s sleep:
- 1 Crib and Crib Mattress
- 4 Bassinetts
- 2 Toddler Bed Frames
- 1 Bunk Bed Frame
- 1 Captain’s Bed Frame
- 19 Twin Mattresses
- 16 Twin Box Springs
- 21 Double Mattresses
- 12 Double Box Springs
- 16 Queen Mattresses
- 1 Queen Mattress from Novosbed
- 15 Queen Box Springs
- 1 Queen Air Mattress
- 22 Bed Frames
- 6 Bed Couches
- 1 Futon Frame & Mattress
- 2 Cots
- 5 Sleeping Bags
And these are just what we handed out. This did not address everyone who still remains on our “Bed Waiting List”. Almost daily we receive calls or messages adding yet another name and family to that list. Already in 2017 (as of Feb 9) we have been able to assist 5 families and still have another 5 that requested help for beds this week. Not counting the ones still on the “Bed Waiting List” of course.
Where Do We Go From Here?
Yes, we continue to have a list of people in need of beds. Our consistent regular source of good quality beds is now gone with the local Sears Stores closing. What will the future hold for our community and their need for beds?
Bed bug infestation cases are also on the rise. In Social Housing, there are cases of buildings being infested just a few years ago. The Governmental Landlord sent in pest control companies and housing units were given a “cleared” stamp from these pests. However, by tracking the progression of the bed bug infestation in our community, unfortunately, buildings once cleared, are now falling victim to re-infestation.
As a result, the need for beds is rising once again.
There will always be those beds that need to be replaced due to fire and water damage. As well as the families coming out of shelters, students going off to school, and newborn babies. Then there is the gradual need for growing children to move into toddler beds, twin beds, and even double beds by their teenage years. The need is always there.
Novosbed contacted us late last fall because they had heard of us and our ministry. In keeping with their own company mandate to re-purpose beds where possible, they had a Queen sized mattress being returned on a warranty issue. They wanted to know if we were interested.
Closer investigation revealed that this mattress was just on the southern borderline of the area we cover. We agreed to go and pick it up from their customer’s home.
At the same time, we had a client in need at the northern edge of our region requiring a bed. A young man out on his own, just having acquired a new job, but was sleeping on the floor. He didn’t even have a couch to sleep on.
We picked up this incredible Novosbed Queen sized memory foam mattress easily from the customer returning it on warranty. The quality of the bed and its cleanliness impressed us. Wrapped in the plastic mattress bag made keeping it clean while we transported it down the highway in our open-backed half-ton truck a huge bonus.
By the next day we were able to transport the mattress to this man in need. At last report, he continues to sleep well, even though we were unable to find him a box spring or a foundation frame. He is just so thankful to be 11 inches higher off the floor than before, and on such a comfortable Novosbed mattress too.
Sleeping well has helped maintain him in his new job by being able to work heartily and mentally concentrate, all because he is now well rested.
Thank you, Novosbed. You have now helped to EMPOWER a man in our region, with a HOPE and a FUTURE.
Novosbed has been an innovative industry leader since 2009. Recently upon further investigation and personal curiosity about this company, I discovered the following statement on their website. A statement that explained why they had approached our ministry last fall to offer us a “Warranty Return” bed for one of our clients in need.
As a result, this alone, has caught my attention and respect.
“Donating mattresses to those less fortunate.
Before Novosbed, most companies sent returned mattresses to land-fills, or would re-sell them.
We decided to think differently about returns. We built a national network of charitable organizations, moving companies, and logistics partners to make returns not only incredibly easy, but also to put returned products into the hands of less fortunate people.
Since our founding in 2009, we have given thousands of mattresses to people who need them, diverting mountains of waste from landfill, and have watched our practice become the new standard in the industry.”
Again, thank you, Novosbed. Being one of these organizations to have received such a bed, we can first-hand testify to the truth of this statement on their website.
Eradicating Poverty Takes Cooperation From Both Corporations And Ordinary Citizens
The future of eradicating the effects of poverty are not going to solved by governmental bodies. Solutions will come from ordinary citizens like you and I and businesses. We, the people, need to work cooperatively.
Free Stuff 4 Daily Needs looks forward to strengthening a relationship with Novosbed in 2017. This is just one of the small ways that my husband, Barry and I are fighting poverty in our region. What are willing to do to help fight poverty in your area?
My husband and I are just 2 individuals. We are not special, we are just caring. Never underestimate what you can do too!! With our efforts–87 more people are sleeping in beds!