A Bed4Me Foundation provides children with beds when they don’t have an adequate sleep space.
VALPARASIO — A Bed4Me Foundation was recently named as one of the winners of an IMPACT 100 grant.
The nonprofit organization provides beds to children between the ages of 2-18 in Okaloosa County who do not have adequate sleeping space.
According to executive director Diane Freeman, inadequate sleeping space could mean sleeping on a couch, the floor or with a parent or sibling.
"We read about a similar organization and started a chapter under that organization," Freeman said. "With us not being able to move the way we wanted to, we broke out and created our own foundation under our own name."
The beds that the foundation provides are purchased at cost from Skipper’s Furniture in Fort Walton Beach.
Before receiving the $101,600 grant, the foundation had served over 800 children, but were limited on bed transportation.
"We had some knowledge of the grant and we knew the process was thorough and credible," Freeman said. "We liked the idea of going through it as a checklist for ourselves so we could make sure everything for our organization was the way it should be."
The foundation was borrowing trucks from people they knew, which meant when the weather was bad no beds could be delivered.
With the grant, the foundation will purchase a cargo-style van to help with more efficient deliveries.
"With a cargo van we can have more guarantee and provide our service better," Freeman said. "We can increase our delivery loads and serve quicker."
After finding out about a child in need from either a social services agency or the Okaloosa County School District, the company takes a bed to the child.
The reaction from the child is one of Freeman’s favorite parts of the job.
"Unless you see it firsthand, you can’t understand the excitement of a child getting a bed of their own," Freeman said. "There has not been one child that has not been excited about receiving a bed."
Freeman said in the future, the organization hopes to expand to neighboring counties but for now they are focused on the mission at hand.
"There is still a great need in Okaloosa County," Freeman said. "We are still doing catch up."
For more information, visit https://abed4me.org/