Every child deserves a bed to sleep on, according to Robert Bosquez from the West Bloomington Revitalization Project (WBRP).
YouthBuild McLean County and WBRP are collaborating for the fourth year in a row to build beds for youths ages 5 to 18. This year's Bed Blitz is Oct. 12, and the goal is to make 80-100 beds for local families.
“If a family is worried about just the basics, they're not worried about a bed. A bed is probably one of the last things that they're worried about. So you don't hear people say, ‘Hey, I need a bed,’ they say, ‘Hey, I need some clothes, I need some food.’ So we're trying to fill that hidden need for these families,” said Bosquez on WGLT’s Sound Ideas.
Bosquez emphasized children are more productive in the classroom if they have sufficient rest and sleep the night before.
Each bed built in the Bed Blitz will come with a custom disassemblable bed frame, sheets, a mattress, laundry detergent, toothbrushes, toothpaste, and donated teddy bears from Build-A-Bear in Peoria, and handmade quilts from The Hands All Around Quilt Guild. Each bed costs $100-120 to make, so YouthBuild and WBRP are asking for donations in materials and in money. The group is hoping to raise around $10,000 before Oct. 12. There will be subsequent smaller Bed Blitzes after Oct. 12, which will be primarily teacher-led.
Bosquez said he and two others originally got the idea for Bed Blitz from Morehead State, Kentucky, where approximately 250 beds are built each year. “Bed builds” have become more prevalent in cities across the United States in the past 10 years. Bosquez cited Sleep In Heavenly Peace as another organization aiming to make beds for children in the west.
“Our hope is that once we receive no applications, this project is done and we move on to the next one. However, in reality, I don't see that,” said Bosquez. The first year the project launched, the group received over 100 applications for beds. Since then, the group is determined to give every kid in the city a place to sleep.
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