On December 18, 2015, children from The Lisa and Thom Mandel Early Childhood Education Center at the Shaw JCC of Akron donated the entire revenue from their bake sale to Beds for Kids, a charity that provides beds and cribs for children at risk in Summit County. The children did all the preparation of the baked goods- even the youngest students helped pour and stir! The children raised $450.00- enough to buy two beds.
“Beds for Kids”, a Summit County Children's Services program, is funded solely by contributions from the community. When a social worker visits a home where children are sleeping in unsafe conditions – and the family has limited or no resources to provide a crib or bed – the social worker turns to this program for help. As their brochure states, “Children who sleep with adults or with other children, or who routinely sleep on couches, on the floor or in sleeping bags are not sleeping safely. Through Beds for Kids, families may receive a crib, bed or bunk beds for their children who are at risk.”
At the Mandel ECEC, children initiate and participate in activities every month related to community service. They have walked on the campus of University of Akron to help end Alzheimer’s, held a food drive for the Akron Canton food bank, and donated gently used clothing to the Salvation Army & Pregnancy Cares. This year, they donated new toys to Toys for Tots, and gently used toys to the local women’s shelter. “Acts of kindness are part of the philosophy at our school,” says Early Childhood Director Kathy Klein. “Our children are inheriting a world filled with many challenges, and we want to empower our students to believe that their efforts can have a positive impact on the world. The Shaw JCC serves a diverse community which welcomes families of all faiths, so we thought that helping children who had never owned a bed would be the perfect holiday gift, no matter what religion anyone observes."
“The importance of a bed really resonated for our children,” said Klein. A bed is so much more than just a place to sleep. Reading a simple bedtime story and establishing routines, for example, provide the context for a child to feel they are loved, cherished, and a priority in a parent’s life.
Chris Vasco, Community Relations Director at SCCS said that “The visit this morning by the children from The Lisa and Thom Mandel Early Childhood Education Center truly brightened everyone's day here at SCCS!”
For more information about the Early Childhood Education Center at the Shaw JCC see: http://shawjcc.org/early-childhood-education
For more information about Beds for Kids see: http://www.summitkids.org/DonorVolunteerOpportunities/BedsforKids/tabid/151/Default.aspx