The Boston Cares Bed Project
Wow! Thank you to the HandsOn Network for honoring us with the 2015 George W. Romney Affiliate Excellence Award for the Bed Project! This award honors the excellence and success of an Affiliate in making a meaningful difference through volunteering and service in their community. See the news here and on the Points of Light site.
“One of the most exciting things about Boston Care’s Bed Project is that it can be replicated by our global network of over 250 affiliates, so they are not only helping children in Massachusetts, but around the world,” said Alison Doerfler, executive director of HandsOn Network, an enterprise of Points of Light."
Check out this video from our October 2015 Make a Difference Day bed build at the Huntington Avenue YMCA. Thanks to Emerson College student Amanda Best for making this video as a class project.
As of December 1, 2015, we have built more than 1,000 beds for children without a bed of their own!
On the Martin Luther King National Day of Service on January 20, 2014, Boston Cares launched a campaign to build 500 beds for kids in 2014. Boston’s newly inaugurated Mayor Martin J. Walsh participated in this first bed build, which produced 50 beds for children in need by referral from social workers at several non-profit partners. Many of the children are transitioning from homeless shelters into their own home. In 2014, Boston Cares corporate and individual volunteers dramatically exceeded our goal and built 570 toddler beds!
More than 1,500 Greater Boston school children do not have a bed, which affects their self-esteem, ability to learn, and likelihood of graduating from high school. These children are sharing beds with other family members, sleeping on the couch, or sleeping on the floor. There is a similar need for toddler beds, for pre-school age children who have outgrown their crib. The epidemic of bed bugs also can force a family to replace all their beds and bedding at once, which is unaffordable for most low-income families.
Boston Cares worked with two skilled furniture makers, Nick Roulleau and Eli Cleveland, to develop a simple bed design that could be built in a streamlined manner without sacrificing quality. The beds are made using the same method as the finest of furniture, adapted for rapid, accurate production by minimally trained volunteers. The beds are both easy to assemble and transport.
Boston Cares has partnered with the New England Regional Council of Carpenters and the New England Carpenters’ Training Fund. Carpenters’ Union apprentices have been milling the lumber at the Training Fund’s state-of-the-art facilities in Dorchester and Millbury. Corporate and individual volunteers make the beds at various sites, including the Carpenters’ Training centers. In addition to corporate groups, volunteer supporters have ranged from college students on Spring Break to seniors at the AARP conference to 8th graders at the Rashi School in Dedham.
“The results of this work will have a bigger impact on people's lives than all of the rest of the furniture I've ever made combined."
– Bed Project designer Nick Roulleau, Owner of Mansfield Fine Furniture
Response to the Bed Project has been extraordinary and Boston Cares held its first twin bed build at the MLK Day of Service on January 19, 2015, sponsored by Target, the Massachusetts Service Alliance, and the Mayor's Office of the City of Boston. Once again, Mayor Marty Walsh helped out and signed the first twin bed.
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Bed Project Build & Support opportunities are available. Please note that building beds does have a supply and project management cost.
For more information about how to get involved in or support the Boston Cares Bed Project as an individual or corporation, please contact:
Associate Director, Corporate Engagement
617.422.0910 x212 or
DO YOU WORK FOR A NON-PROFIT AGENCY THAT IS INTERESTED IN DISTRIBUTING BEDS TO FAMILIES IN NEED? PLEASE FILL OUT OUR SURVEY!
Our Bed Project partners were honored at our Annual Awards for their 2014 Outstanding Community Partnership. This video tells the Bed Project story.
Boston Cares has distributed beds through more than 20 partner agencies, including shelters and service providers for homeless families, furniture banks for those moving out of homelessness, support organizations for children in foster care, and other social service organizations working with families surviving poverty. Agencies must have a social worker working with families and ensure that the child will keep the bed as the family moves into permanent housing.
Do you work for a Massachusetts-based non-profit or government agency that is interested in distributing TODDLER OR TWIN beds to families in need? Please fill out our survey or contact Kacey Sanfilippo at firstname.lastname@example.org