Volunteers make dreams come true
May 08, 2012 | 1382 views | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
—Jody Norwood/Tribune-Courier

Above, volunteers work at Marshall County’s first AmeriCorps Build-A-Bed. The build, which provided 21 beds to local elementary school students, took place at Marshall County High School Saturday.
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By Jody Norwood

Tribune-Courier News Editor

jnorwood@tribunecourier.com

DRAFFNEVILLE – In less than two hours, more than 30 volunteers changed the lives of 21 area students. AmeriCorps coordinators worked alongside local good Samaritans for Marshall County’s first Build-A-Bed.

“Some were thinking it was going to be an all day project,” said Crystal Jackson, AmeriCorps member at Central Elementary. “We built 21 beds in barely over an hour. Shane Darnall and his class had everything pre drilled. We couldn’t have done it without them.”

The strong turnout of support from civic groups and churches moved things along quickly, from assembling and drilling the precut slats and sideboards to decorating a number of beds with personalized messages.

Jackson said she was surprised and saddened by many of the stories that came forward as the project began to take shape. AmeriCorps members worked with the Marshall County Family Resource Center to connect with families in need of a place for their children to sleep.

Needs for the beds were determined after applications were sent out and AmeriCorps members worked with the resource center to evaluate each case. The project received 25 applications in its first attempt with stories ranging from children sleeping in crowded beds with siblings to only having a piece of foam.

The show of support Saturday and with a need still in the community, Jackson said organizers are hoping to hold another build. If enough funds can be raised, Jackson said, the group is considering a second round of bed building in the fall.

The cost of each bed ranges from $300 to $350. Builders also put together bed bags with pajamas, sheets, stuffed animals and other items to help set up the bed as soon as it’s delivered. Fabric softener was even provided.

AmeriCorps member from Owensboro Shannon Bailes said support for Marshall County’s build was encouraging and hoped it continued in other counties.

For more information, contact Jackson via email at crystal.jackson@marshall.kyschools.us.
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