LONGVIEW, TX (KLTV) -While most kids cuddle up in their own beds at night, others in East Texas face a very different reality.
GMET’s Brennon Gurley finds out how one nonprofit is making a difference in the lives of children, one bed at a time.
Willie Faulkner, President and Founder, Beds of Hope tells KLTV,” these kids don't have a choice and we're answering a need, a very simple need, and we're putting that very simple need first.”
Building beds for children in foster care so that they don't have to sleep on the floor.
“This little girl who was about four or five-years-old has always slept in the corner of her mother’s room on a blanket on the floor, that’s what got me, that’s what drives me. Is to never have to say no to a child who needs a bed,” recalls Faulkner.
Faulkner formed the nonprofit called Beds of Hope in Longview, to solve that problem, benefiting children in foster care or who are placed in homes by Child Protective Services.
“The need is so big, us almost delivering 500 beds in three years. That tells you a lot about the need in East Texas, but it also tells you a lot about the great people of East Texas who've contributed.”
It started with a piece of wood, and with the help of more than 40 volunteers like Ric Hawthorne.
“It's a little heartening to see we're giving them a real nice bed. Sometimes the bedspread I'm putting on that bed might be the nicest thing in the house, the most expensive thing in the house,” explains Hawthorne.
After delivering close to 500 beds to kids in need, foster children across the area will soon have a comfortable place to sleep.
“I have delivered beds where children are six-year-olds or seven-year-olds and they’ve never slept on a bed or the beds they’ve slept in are just pallets, says Hawthorne.
Each bed frame is delivered and assembled by volunteers like Rene Lind, complete with a set of bedding, a mattress and a pillow.
“There's no heavy lifting. You look around there's a lot of us older people doing this so it's not heavy work, it's not hard work, it's fun work,” explains Lend.
Though the volunteers say they wish they could do more, they're hoping to solve a much larger issue.
“It has become a, I don’t know, kind of a mantra to me that we want to build these beds so that no kid has to sleep somewhere they shouldn’t,” says Faulkner.
Beds of Hope wants to build at least 200 this year. Their next build day is set for May 25th.