Beds for Kids, a wonderful non-profit organization, which has been serving families in need in both Steele and Waseca counties since 2010, will officially become a ministry of Trinity Lutheran Church in February.
Almost a year ago, The Beds for Kids board of directors approached Trinity asking about the possibility of a significant partnership, in order to create sustainability for years to come. The Beds for Kids leadership had given years of service and thousands of hours of work to this mission. As they were looking at stepping back in leadership, their hope was to partner with Trinity in a way that would ensure the future of the organization.
Trinity believes strongly in the mission of Beds for Kids and was excited to step into this new role.
The idea for Beds for Kids first developed in 2003. Founder Jim Packard had a job that required him to go into homes to do service work. He discovered children sleeping on floors or sharing beds with their parents. He felt moved to do something to help these kids, but the answer wasn’t obvious.
The Holy Spirit kept tugging at Jim’s heart. Jim writes that “In 2009, fueled by the injustice that my kids had warm beds while many others did not, I pitched the idea to my men’s Bible study. After much discussion, my friend said, ‘Let’s stop talking and start building. Even if only one kid gets a bed, then it was worth it.’ So we began by making four beds.”
In 2010, Beds for Kids was formed as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. The mission is simple: “…to provide complete beds to children who need them. We’re inspired to share Jesus’ love by serving families in need.”
The current Beds for Kids board will assist with this transition before stepping down from their positions in January. After a brief pause to move the inventory to Trinity and set up our administrative systems, we will begin delivering beds again in mid-February. Trinity staff member Elizabeth Malo, working with volunteer Cheryl Deason will step into interim leadership roles during the transition. Trinity hopes to have a permanent staff member working in this role by June.
In recent years, Beds for Kids delivered an average of 150-200 beds per year. Beds would be delivered and assembled and each child given a complete set of bedding. Currently, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, deliveries have slowed, and beds are only being delivered as far as the door. However as the pandemic subsides, Trinity is excited to ramp deliveries back up and return to assembling the children’s beds. The plan is to make deliveries twice a week. On Saturdays and again on a week night.
Beds for Kids has always relied on a core of wonderful volunteers that make this ministry happen. Pastor Todd said that “we still want volunteers from all sorts of community groups, churches and businesses to be a part of this important work. But this will provide so many great opportunities for people in the Trinity Community to connect with and serve people in need. This is another fantastic way for our people to be #ForOwatonna.”
Information about volunteering in the Beds for Kids program will be available on the web site in February. If you have further questions, please contact Elizabeth Malo at (507) 451-4520.