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Milestone reached for a program that gives children the gift of safe, comfortable sleep


Thu, Dec 1st 2022 09:25 pm

Submitted by Catholic Health

One of the most important factors to both our physical and mental health is sleep. A basic human need, it is the time when our body restores its energy sources and supports healthy brain function. Sleep is especially important for children and teens, as it aides in growth and development, memory and academic performance, and emotional wellbeing.

Unfortunately, quality sleep is not always accessible to all children, especially those living in at-risk communities.

When Sister Nora Sweeney, DC, a social worker at the Mount St. Mary’s Neighborhood Health Center, witnessed children in the community she serves sleeping on floors, towels, even lawn chairs – she knew she had to act quickly. She brought this to the attention of Dave Maries, a member of the board of directors for the Mount St. Mary’s Hospital Foundation, and he was incredibly moved. Dave decided that having a comfortable mattress, soft pillow, clean sheets and a warm quilt should not be a luxury to any child, and he and Sister Nora set out to find a solution immediately.

In 2019, purely a result of Sister Nora’s passion to care for those she serves, and Dave’s business acumen and outreach to contacts, “Beds for Kidz” was born to serve a much-needed purpose. The focus and mission of this program is to raise awareness about this devastating problem within underserved communities, raise funds for this initiative, and partner with bed manufacturers to provide the necessity of bed packages to families in need.

These bed packages even include a book titled, “Just a Silly Little Caterpillar,” by Uncle Brian, which was written to inspire the recipient to follow their dreams – and know that their current reality does not indicate their future.

What started with just 30 bed packages to begin the program, “Beds for Kidz” has now surpassed their 225th bed package! Two-hundred-twenty-five children are now enjoying sleep in the warmth, comfort and security of their own bed, when they otherwise would have not had this experience. They have also received the message that they are loved, cared for, and worthy of this simple luxury that many of us take for granted and to never give up hope.

Mount St. Mary’s Foundation Executive Director Ashley Misko stated, “ ‘Beds for Kidz’ was established and privately funded by a multitude of donors partnering with a wonderful corporation that chooses to remain anonymous. The Mount St. Mary’s Hospital Foundation would like to celebrate them for giving the gift of restful sleep to a current total of 225 children! We share our immense gratitude for their support. A special heartfelt thank you to Sister Nora and Dave – because this could not have happened without your vision and diligent work!”

To find out more about this program, or to see how you can help, visit www.bedsforkidz.com or contact Misko at 716-298-2166 or [email protected].

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