Gift of Sleep at Center of Hope
David Perry -- Furniture Today, September 30, 2013
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - Hope arrived at the Salvation Army's facility here the other day in the form of 86 new Stearns & Foster mattresses.
Nationally, Stearns & Foster announced earlier this year that it had donated $1 million in new mattresses to The Salvation Army as part of its Gift of Sleep donation program.
Stearns & Foster Brand Director Dan Calderwood got a firsthand look at how the new S&F beds are helping the Salvation Army's facility here during a recent visit.
He heard some of the residents say how much they are enjoying the new two-sided S&F beds, a big step up from the hard "prison mattresses" they had been sleeping on.
Nakasha, a mother of three, wasn't sleeping well on her old mattress.
"You try not to complain," she said, "but it was hurting my back. Now I'm sleeping like an angel. Lord, I don't want to get up. I'm sleeping so good."
Deanna turned to the Salvation Army for help after she made "some bad decisions" and found herself and her daughter with nowhere else to go. "We were sleeping on jail mattresses," she said. "These new beds are a world of difference. I'm sleeping better now."
A good night of sleep is something that the Salvation Army's facility here, The Center of Hope, offers to those who need its services. The center, the only emergency family shelter in Forsyth County, offers its guests three meals a day and eight hours of sleep. The idea is to meet the guests' basic needs so they can start to get back on their feet. "Rest is one of the major issues they face," said John Gladman, the center's assistant director.
Major James Allison, the Salvation Army's area commander in Winston-Salem, said the Center of Hope sees people whose lives "are upside down and full of stress." With the new Stearns & Foster mattresses, there is now less stress in their lives, he said.
"We live best when we know what tomorrow will bring," Allison said. "Now we can offer them hope tomorrow when they rest well at night and begin to recharge to fight that depression and worry. Sleep and rest become part of our holistic approach of building the mind, body and soul."
When the residents have a chance to take a deep breath, they can settle their spirit and see that "there is value and hope for tomorrow," Allison said.
"I'm fortunate that I get to see the rewards of this gift of mattresses," said Calderwood.
"We can't do it alone," Allison responded. "We can't do anything until we have the help of folks like you. Together, we are lifting up society."
Calderwood said his father ran a Detroit rescue mission, and said it's exciting to see the good works being done at The Center of Hope.
"There was no money in the budget to replace those old mattresses," Allison said. "We could not have done this without Sealy. We would still be sleeping on those old mattresses."
The beds will be getting plenty of use.
Last year The Center of Hope helped 231 adults and 264 children in a total of 149 families avoid homelessness. Its community kitchen prepared and served 62,722 hot meals to the community and to people staying at The Center of Hope.
This is the third consecutive year in which S&F has supported the Salvation Army. Total donations to the Gift of Sleep program total $3 million.
"The Stearns & Foster brand has a wonderful history of giving back, and we are proud to continue the brand's philanthropic legacy with our commitment to The Salvation Army through the Gift of Sleep program," said Jodi Allen, Sealy's chief marketing officer.
She thanked the Stearns & Foster retailers who supported the program with their continuing commitment to the brand.