January 28, 2016
PHOTO BY PAULA MULLER
From left, Linda Bessom, Rachel Bohanon, Violet Saia and Matthew Chatterton at The North Shore Christian School in Lynn holding a $500 check to Linda Bessom, who founded A Bed for Every Child.
BY BRIDGET TURCOTTE
LYNN — Through the A Bed for Every Child Initiative with the Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless, students at North Shore Christian School raised enough money to provide two children with new beds.
The students presented a $500 check to Sister Linda Bessom of the Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless Wednesday morning. The coalition partners with public schools to assist students whose families are at risk of becoming homeless.
“I spoke to a woman the other day who said she can hardly wait to (give her) child a bed,” Bessom said to the students. “A bed for every child. You might think ‘oh, that’s something little. It’s not. It’s a big thing.”
Students raised money for the initiative through the Choose To Be Nice social movement, founded by Dina Creiger.
The movement is centered on encouraging and inspiring kindness,whenever possible.
“We’re improving the way people interact with one another by reminding them that they have a choice about how to ‘be’ in the world,” according to the Choose To Be Nice website.
The students raised money by selling Choose To Be Nice T-shirts, sweatshirts and hats. They also participated in Choose To Be Nice days on certain Fridays, during which they were able to pay $1 and wear a Choose To Be Nice shirt or sweatshirt instead of their school uniforms.
“I really wanted to just come see you guys and tell you how proud I am,” Creiger said to the students Wednesday. “It’s a big thing to do something for others. “
“I wanted to let you know and remind us all that we have a chance to be nice to other people,” Creiger said. “I want to thank you all for helping these kids get a bed. I want you to remember how it feels to help somebody out.”
The $500 raised by the students will provide beds for two children. Each $250 donation provides a complete bed set for one child, including a new mattress, box spring, bed frame, pillow, linens, and a comforter.
A $25 donation provides a pillow and linens for one child, $50 provides a quilt and comforter, $100 provides a pillow, linens, comforter, and teddy bear.
“I want to say a big thank you for choosing to be nice,” said Bessom. “By choosing to be nice you are going to help kids your own age get something they need to be healthy, to be alert — a bed.”
The 10 students in Christina Clark’s third grade class also created a blanket to donate to the initiative.
“It’s a fleece, no-sew blanket. You can just tie it,” said North Shore Christian School Director of Development, Susan Archer.
“The children in the third grade made you this blanket,” said Principal Robin Lowe. “They have a clear understanding of the work you’re doing and the reason for that work.”
Bridget Turcotte can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.