Julie Denesha – Special Correspondent for KCPT
Sleepyhead Beds is a pint-sized organization delivering an outsized impact to needy families in the Metro area.
Sam Cook, the executive director of Sleepyhead Beds, says the organization fills two different needs.
“Well, we provide two services that provide two needs,” said Cook. “Landfills get filled with mattresses and obviously other objects every day. And you’ve got all these mattresses going there that obviously could be used for other purposes. They can be recycled and they can be given to other people after being cleaned. So we eliminate an environmental disaster that we can get into by collecting all the stuff in landfills. The second service we do and is our primary service is we take these beds. We clean them with a special cleaner and we give them back to kids in Kansas City. We’ve helped thousands of kids in Kansas City and we’ll continue to help thousands more in 2014 and beyond.”
For Deb Davis, whose home was destroyed by fire, the help came at just the right time.
“We had a fire in our home in September of this year, and a friend of mine had heard about Sleepyhead Beds and contacted them and they were kind enough to donate beds for my grandchildren that live with me,” Davis said. “We’re just now getting into a home and so they brought the beds today. The kids will have beds to sleep in.”
“It’s a huge relief that we don’t have to worry about where they’re going to sleep, or sleeping on the floor, which probably would have been the alternative,” said Davis.
People find Sleepyhead Beds in different ways.
“A lot of times it’s the social worker who notices they don’t have a bed and they need that for their children to either be in the home, stay in the home, or come back home and so, at that point they’ll either tell the client to call us or contact us or or they, themselves will and we’ll figure out a way to get them a bed,” Cook said.
For children to be returned home from state care and custody they need to have a safe place to sleep and that means a bed.
“I can’t imagine not having my child here for the holidays just because I don’t have a bed for her. So it’s a very big deal. There are so many kids in state custody because they are waiting for a bed to get to go home so they have to have that bed to be reunited with their parents.”
Angie Kelley is a Title One Reading teacher at Indian Creek Elementary School in the Center School District. Kelley says she sees the results of a good night’s sleep in the students she teaches every single day.
“I actually teach in the Center School district and Sleepyhead Beds provides beds for a lot of our kids. Kids that we know. When they come to school and they’ve had a good nights sleep. They can perform much better. It’s very important because it not only affects their mood and being able to deal with situations that come up during the day, but their focus and their learning span, to be able to keep focussed and learn more.”
For Cook the rewards of focusing on beds is simple.
“There are a lot of services out there, and they are doing a million things, and people need help with all this different stuff. But beds is one we don’t think about and that’s why someone has to focus on it, because they are expensive. They are difficult to move. It costs money to get them delivered. When you have two or three kids and you’ve had cribs for them, but now you have to get mattresses for them, it’s just a huge expense. And so a lot of times they end up sharing beds or making do with what they have, as we all do. We make do with what we have sometimes. Well, a bed, people shouldn’t have to make do with.”