7th annual Grace emBEDded assembled 100 beds for East Texas foster kids in need

Published: Nov. 24, 2021 at 9:36 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 24, 2021 at 10:45 PM CST
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TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - Community members and their families came together this week to build beds for children facing foster care. Coordinator Tony Black with local nonprofit, Pure Religion, said this is the seventh year of the Grace emBEDded project.

“Several of us had been involved in a project in taking beds overseas to Eastern Europe and putting those in orphanages and then we realized we could do that at home,” Black said. “We found out there was a specific need here at home with kids that were facing placement in foster care and one of the things that was a barrier to people like grandparents, aunts and uncles, someone like that, taking the child in during the investigation was they didn’t have a bed. And so that’s where we come in.”

Black said they expected more than 400 volunteers. In just three hours they were able to build about one hundred beds. Team leads walked volunteers through piecing wood together and getting the beds built. Stephen and Brenda Childs said this is their first year helping.

“We’ve gone to Green Acres for the last 40 years and we’ve seen and we’ve never been able to help. We help with the bell ringing and with the East Texas Food Bank and this is one thing we can give back to the community for people who really have a need,” Childs said.

Gideon Hardin and Carson Riaz were at the headboard station tonight.

“That’s drilling holes and putting together some smaller pieces that really keep the bed together and add structure and strength,” Hardin said. “Like a foundation, just like Jesus is a foundation of our lives,” Riaz added.

When they are done there is a completed headboard, footboard, side pieces, and the slats that support the mattress.

“Then those pieces, we kind of wrap them up and put them in storage and when we get a call we’re able to grab the pieces, go, bolt them together, and it’s a real quick, like Legos kind of process,” Black said.

In the last six years Black said they have been able to build over 700 beds in Smith County. Most stay local but they are able to meet outside county needs, too.

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