For the second time, the Thomson Family Y held an event on June 22 that provides beds for children in need, called A Place to Dream. The Thomson Family Y partnered with the Thomson Housing Authority for the event, finding families to receive the beds donated by Thomson’s Rotary Club. Approximately 40 volunteers set out Saturday morning to build beds for children in Thomson and Norwood.
“Everyone in our community came together to deliver the beds,” said James Thomas, district vice president of the Family Y. “A lot of the kids we served this past Saturday, some of them never had their own bed...It’s a huge impact, and it’s an immediate impact.”
Kelly Evans, executive director of the Thomson Housing Authority, said that in her 10 years working in the Authority, she’s seen kids sleeping on pallets or sleeping in beds with their parents. Many times, she said those kids have had to move around, leaving personal items behind. Not having a bed, she explained, exasperates unstable situations.
“It’s heartbreaking to see a child without a bed,” she said.
Cody Tyler, a 17-year-old volunteer at the event, reflected on the impact of building the beds for kids.
“I almost didn’t want to get out of bed this morning,” he said. “But then, I thought of all the kids that can’t do that today.”
Elizabeth Tucker, a 53-year-old Thomson mother who had volunteers come into her house to install two beds, called the beds a blessing. Volunteers put up two beds for two of her children, leaving sports themed throws and a gift bag on top of a made bed for the children to find.
Before the beds came, Tucker said the two children slept on an air-mattress. The mattress had started to lose the ability to hold air, causing the children to continuously pump it up. The night before the volunteers came, Tucker said she decided to give up on the mattress and had the boys sleep on a pallet instead.
“When these beds arrived today, it just meant the world to me because I know my children have a place to sleep comfortably,” she said. “That’ll be the last pallet [they’ll] have to make because [they’ll] have beds now.”
With new beds, Evans said kids can take a step towards normalcy, a huge deal.
“The kids are so grateful and proud,” Evans said. “They’re not sharing a bed. It’s their bed, and it’s a safe place.