30 fewer children sleep on the floor this month thanks to Now I Lay Me Down bed ministry. Started by the First Presbyterian Church on Washington Street, this year 150 new beds were purchased and distributed to underprivileged children in Monroe County.
Proceeds from the annual Bed Race to Aid Children fundraiser and donations from churches and communities will help fund the purchase of beds for children 17 and under. Each child is also provided with pillows, sheets, blankets, stuffed animals and books. Estimated cost per bed set is about $250. The ministry is run by volunteers and all the money donated goes to children’s beds.
Bed Race raises nearly $30,000 each year, and community support is part of the program’s success. The Bedford Township Lions Club has been a major sponsor for many years, donating over $50,000 and added a winter event in 2019.
“Dale Zorn brought us the idea of doing a sled race during the Christmas in Ida event,” said Kim Hooper. I’ve run races.”
A Monroe resident and FPC member, Hooper has been with the program since its inception.
“It all started with a single mother coming to our church and wondering if she had the money to buy a bed for her child,” he said. “This month has been a very heavy one. Our goal was to get everyone on the waiting list. We wanted to have beds for each child by Christmas Eve. We use Sachs, our local furniture store, and they even ran out of twin beds. .”
Hooper said the department can be viewed as an education and health program.
“If a child has his own bed, he can rest more,” he said. “A few years ago there was a little girl who had lead poisoning. Couldn’t. While sleeping on the floor, the girl was inhaling lead paint.”
From a health standpoint, Hooper said this is a great example of why having your own bed is important.
Hooper has been with the program for many years and has seen it in a variety of situations, from delivering a bed to a child who slept on fabric-covered plywood to a mother thanking her for a new mattress. She replaces what she finds abandoned on the curb. He also witnessed the child’s boundless happiness when the bed arrived.
“We recently delivered a bed to a little boy who was excited and started jumping on the bed,” Hooper said. “He was thrilled to have his own ‘big boy’s bed’.”
Since 2001, the program has distributed 3,700 beds ranging from bunk beds and bunk beds to pack and play and toddler beds. To be eligible to receive a bed, an application must be submitted to the church for approval.
Volunteers and FPC members Karen Winchell and Gert Parlette receive and review each application. John Chesman orders the beds and acts as the shipping coordinator.
It takes about 6 weeks for your application to be approved. The ministry works with several organizations within the community, including Paula’s House, Oaks of Righteousness and The Salvation Army.
“Beds are delivered year-round. We also always accept donations of new or infrequently used stuffed animals, blankets, children’s books, etc. All donations are confirmed in writing. was done in honor or commemoration of a family member.”
Over the years, the number of applicants for the program has increased.
“We delivered beds to every school district in the county,” Hooper said. “My wife is a retired teacher and I’ve seen kids come to school without coats, but people don’t think there’s no beds. 3,700 beds delivered to Monroe County.” When I say I did, people find it hard to believe Monroe had that need.”
Now I Lay Me Down To learn more about Bed Ministries, donate, volunteer, or request a bed for a child in need, log on to www.monroebedrace.org or call the church at 734-242-1545. Please give me. The First Presbyterian Church is located at 108 Washington Street.