Beds for Kids is working together with Printsocial as part of our Print with Purpose™ program. This means you now have the opportunity to donate 5% of your order to this truly incredible organization at checkout. Here at Printsocial, we believe it’s important to share these stories so others can learn more about their causes and the impact they have on our community.
In his early 30s, Beds for Kids’ Executive Director Daniel Fogarty decided to leave the private equity investment world.
“I need to do something with my life that mattered,” he said. “So, I decided I was going to go volunteer around Charlotte for a year. Over the course of that [year], I met the two other co-founders, Tim Rowley and Brandon Holmes.”
In 2011, the trio was trying to figure out the biggest need in Charlotte. At that time, co-founder Tim Rowley worked to donate a couch to a local family.
“He went into the [house] with the couch, and it was a single mom with three kids, and there was no furniture in the house,” Fogarty said. “So, he started trying to figure out how to get the kids off the floor—we started asking a lot of questions. And then we all met up; the rest is history.”
The nonprofit’s vision is “to see the families in the community we serve become self-sufficient.”
“In our first year, we assisted 256 kids,” Fogarty said. “We’re expected to hit the 2,000 mark this year. And as of last Friday, we’ve delivered 6,295 beds since 2011.”
According to Fogarty, Beds for Kids works with 27 referring agencies when finding families in need.
“Those social workers are our frontline eyes and ears, and they are the ones that as clients are coming in through their programs, they will make that referral,” he said. “One of the reasons we do that is because those families need to be in other services as well, and it allows us to play a really good support system to the social worker…we want to be a tool in their tool belt, rather than just another agency that helps families. So if we can help them with a family, then we’re killing two birds with one stone.”
Beds for Kids donates on average 45-50 pieces of furniture per family.
“So, it’s basic living room furniture—couch, coffee table, end table—basic kitchen furniture —- a kitchen table and chairs for everyone in the house—, a bed and bedding for everyone in the house—new sheets, pillow, pillowcase, blanket, or comforter,” Fogarty said. “And then we try to [give] at least one dresser per room. If we have student desks, we’ll put a desk in the kid’s room with one chair.”
The nonprofit is also in need of lamps, as a lot of the public housing in Mecklenburg County does not provide overhead lighting besides in the bathroom.
“If a kid’s in their room and wants to read at night in bed, and they don’t have an overhead lamp, they’re either having to do it with a flashlight or a cell phone,” Fogarty said. “And most of our client families may have one phone for the household, unlike most families.”
Check out a full list of furniture items that Beds for Kids takes here: www.bedsforkids.org/items-we-take
Beds for Kids has 10 full-time staff members, but their biggest support comes from their volunteers. According to Fogarty, 2,100 volunteers worked with the non-profit in 2016. Even businesses such as Ashley Home Store have teamed up with Beds for Kids.
“They are volunteers, they offer monetary donations, there are scratch and dent donations, but the real bed and butter for Ashley are their sales associates,” he said.
Fogarty explains that when potential customers enter the furniture store seeking a couch, the sales associate will ask if the couch they are replacing is in good shape and whether they would be willing to donate it to Beds for Kids.
Fogarty stresses the belief that everyone can make a difference, whether it’s through volunteer time or donations.
“We need their volunteer time,” he said. “And if you have a storage unit, if you’re downsizing, if you’ve got stuff in your attic that you’re going, “Hey, it’s spring cleaning time,” and the stuff is in good shape, and you don’t know what to do with it, we can put it to good use.”
For more information about Beds for Kids, visit www.bedsforkids.org.