November 8, 2016
ITEM PHOTO BY OWEN O’ROURKE
Robyn Frost, of the Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless, takes inventory of the 220 bed frames that were bought with money raised by the Nahant Woman’s Club.
By GAYLA CAWLEY
NAHANT — The Nahant Woman’s Club recently raised funds towards an initiative that aims to provide sweet dreams by bringing a bed to every child in need.
The Woman’s Club hosted a fundraiser at the Tides Restaurant & Pub in Nahant last Thursday, where the nonprofit raised $700 for “A Bed for Every Child,” an initiative of the Lynn-based Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless. The goal of the program is to give children living in poverty twin beds so they can get a good night’s sleep.
The funds raised will likely reach more than $1,000, as Tides will kick in 10 percent of its proceeds from the night the event was held, according to Cheryl Conte, president of the Woman’s Club.
Conte said the initiative appealed to the club’s members because there are too many kids without beds.
“That’s something we can all relate to that we need, in order to perform well in school and be healthy,” she said.
Robyn Frost, executive director of Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless, said last year, 360 beds were distributed to kids within Lynn Public Schools. She said the number of kids in need of beds grows every year. Since the inception of the program four years ago, she said more than 4,000 beds have been given to children statewide, with close to 1,000 of those distributed in Lynn.
Frost said the program started through working with schools and learning that there were a lot of kids without beds. She said the coalition plans to raise funds to give 250 beds to 250 children this holiday season.
Every $250 buys a new twin bed, which includes the mattress, boxspring, headboard, footboard, bed bug covers, linens and a teddy bear. The coalition has a goal of giving out 1,500 beds this year, including the beds for the holiday campaign. Last year, 860 beds were gifted, with the majority going to North Shore children, according to Frost.
Frost said that beds give kids a good night’s sleep and the ability to come to school refreshed.
“We all know that a good education breaks the cycle of poverty,” she said.
Gayla Cawley can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @GaylaCawley.