djr-2018-10-18-news-beds-for-kidsp2

Stanley Huddleston, the faith-based ministry coordinator with the Family Resource Center in Tupelo, and Christi Webb, executive director of the Family Resource Center, look at mattresses for the Beds for Kids Project held last October.

TUPELO • The Family Resource Center of North Mississippi has already impacted hundreds of children in its Beds for Kids program, but they hope to impact a hundred more in their weeklong bed build from July 22-26 at Mount Olive Baptist Church in Baldwyn.

The goal is to build 100 bed frames. Since the program first started in April 2018, 350 beds have been donated so far, with 42 being donated this past June.

“We’re doing a bed-build event to try to build a hundred bed frames so that we can be a little bit ahead,” said Stanley Huddleston, the faith-based coordinator for the FRC and the pastor of Mount Olive Baptist Church.

Volunteers will work from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. There will also be additional night building from 6-8:30 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. Breakfast and lunch will be provided at 7 a.m. and 11:30 a.m., respectively. Volunteers are encouraged to wear closed toe shoes, safety goggles, work gloves, a dust particle mask and comfortable clothing.

Participants should also fill out a waiver of liability, medical release form and bring a copy of their insurance card. Volunteers under 18 are allowed if they bring signed parental consent.

The Beds for Kids program is part of the Families First for Mississippi, a joint program with the FRC and Mississippi Community Education Center. The program began after the FRC found that many of their clients seemed to have a need for it.

“As we investigated, we just found that a lot of children didn’t have an appropriate bed to sleep in. We couldn’t find anyone in the area who was meeting that particular need,” Huddleston said.

It was through their research that they found Parkway Hills United Methodist Church in Madison, which has its own program of building beds for kids in need. FRC now has a partnership with Parkway Hills where members cut the lumber for shipping. Mount Olive Baptist Church has a Beds for Kids shop at 1265 County Road 166 in Baldwyn where beds are made and finished.

Other partners are First United Methodist Church of Tupelo, Oxford University United Methodist Church, and the Career and Tech Center in Calhoun City.

“We (FRC) try to partner with other churches to build the frames, and then we provide mattresses and all the bedding to go along with it,” Huddleston said.

Currently, 25 volunteers are signed up to help. Huddleston said 25 to 30 volunteers is what is needed to build the 100 twin sized bed frames in enough time, but welcomes additional volunteers to make the work go faster.

Beds for Kids also accepts donations. Huddleston said there is a special need for comforters, but people can donate twin-sized sheets, comforters, spreads and pillows at Re-entry Program at 507 S. Church St. in Tupelo. All donations must be new, and they also accept monetary donations for mattresses. The organization also has a fundraiser on Crowdrise by GoFundMe.

“Volunteers do the work, and we receive donations to buy all the mattresses and bedding, lumber and all the supplies that go along with it. We can always use donations to help with those things,” Huddleston said.

Anyone interested in getting involved can contact Huddleston at 662-365-8140 or visit https://www.frcnms.org/bedsforkids.

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