Most of lights were off at Highland Square last night save for a fireplace. The fire illuminated bright papers and bows as crinkling and laughter filled the air. Christmas has arrived just a little early for 16 children. The nonprofit Beds 4 Kids founder Lauren Glass took in the sight – this is her realized dream.
Lauren Glass, a Tennessee native, founded Beds4Kids out of inspiration from a movie: The Blind Side.
“The Blind Side was released when I was 18 years old,” said Glass, “I had just recently graduated high school, and like most 18 year olds I was just trying to figure out what to do with my life. A reoccurring thought kept popping into my head, “What if I died today? How will I have made an impact on this world?” I kept praying that God would lead me and guide my path, giving me an avenue to make a difference in this world. During this time of my life is when The Blind Side came out.”
As she watched the movie, the scene where Michael Oher was given a bedroom at the Tuohys’ house grabbed her attention. Oher had said upon seeing his bedroom that he never had one before. At first the Tuohy family thought he meant a bedroom of his own but he meant the bed itself. At that scene Glass knew she wanted to make sure “as many kids as possible” would have a place to sleep at night.
With help of her then youth pastor and a lawyer she created Beds4Kids and made it a 501c3 in 2010 in Mount Caramel, Tennessee. The charity partners with local businesses to donate beds to children who are selected from from applications received through DFACS and the local school system.Since then Beds4Kids has served over 450 children.
Glass said her charity has been contacted from all over the U.S. with interest of bringing Beds 4 Kids to them. She is currently working to get in contact with local businesses in those areas, including North Mississippi, to help distribute beds. This charity is not her full-time position and she does work a full time job. However she dedicates all of her days off work and any spare time to Beds4Kids. She hopes managing Beds4Kids will soon be her full time position.
Last night she was able to bring her charity to Oxford with help of one of her best friends, Nick Weaver, owner of Blue Delta Jeans in Oxford.
“We have always wanted to team up and work on a project with Beds4Kids in the Oxford and North Mississippi area,” said Glass. “When this opportunity arose we knew it would be the perfect chance to take on this project together.”
“Blue Delta Jeans has been working with Beds4Kids for about a year,” said Weaver. “And she mentioned coming down for a giveaway and we were excited.”
They then called Capital Bedding in Verona next to Blue Delta Jeans’ factory. Capital Bedding then donated 16 beds. Weaver’s wife, Augusta, donated Highland Square’s facilities to host the event. Children were treated to a dinner with plenty of presents as well as having beds sent to their houses with help from Wellspring Community Church and Bethlehem Church. Wellspring Community Church provided the dinner and gifts and the Bethlehem Church arranged for transportation of the beds.
Jonathan Vazquez, pastor of Bethlehem Church in Potts Camp, Miss., said, “Bethlehem church seeks to serve our communities in a variety of ways. We count it a blessing to be included in this endeavor. The church exists to spread the gospel and serve our neighbors. Children are precious and valuable. We are thankful that this Christmas several children in our community will have warm beds to sleep in. We are thankful to have partnered with Beds4Kids, Blue Delta Jeans, and Wellspring Community Church to help make ours a better community.”
Last night was the culmination of their work: 16 happy children and their loved ones having a joyous Christmas. That night felt exactly like Christmas Eve should – a night of merrymaking and shared happiness.
“I would love to come back and help in the North Mississippi area. I want to gain as much traction within this region as possible,” said Glass. “Building local partnerships and more funding will enable beds4kids to come back and give beds to children in Mississippi. We are so very excited to have an opportunity to give back in this area.”
For those interested in helping Glass give more beds to needful children in North Mississippi, visit the website.
Callie Daniels is a staff reporter for HottyToddy.com. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.