Making the bed: Volunteer project on Giving Tuesday will aid foster families
NORMAN — Making the bed had nothing to do with comforters and sheets during a Giving Tuesday project at Habitat for Humanity ReStore, 1100 W Main.
Using drills, belt sanders, miter saws and other tools, 100 volunteers gathered outside the center to construct beds destined for children in foster care.
Trey Roberts, a member of CrossPointe Church, called the project "Bunk Bed Build."
CrossPointe partnered with the global investment company Thrivent Financial to bring the initiative to fruition.
With Roberts as coordinator, volunteers met their goal of making 30 bunk bed units — totaling 60 beds — in four hours Tuesday.
The project was an extension of CrossPointe's sponsorship of Royal Family Kids' Camps, annual summer camps for school-age foster children.
Roberts said local families who want to welcome a foster child into their home are required to have a bed for the child. He said each newly constructed bunk bed will be placed in the home of a foster family whenever there is a request for one from a family or the Oklahoma Department of Human Services.
"A bed is one of the primary things that a foster child has to have. If we can take that hurdle away from them, we want to do it," he said.
CrossPointe held a smaller bed-building project on Nov. 3 in the parking lot of the church, 2601 24th Ave SE. Volunteers made 16 beds at that time.
"It was kind of a practice run to see what we didn't know," Roberts said. "It's a huge undertaking."
Many of the volunteers were church members who have been involved in the Royal Family Kids' Camps sponsored by CrossPointe Church since 2006.
Danny Marler, a church member who worked on side rails for the beds, said he decided to help out after hearing about the project at a church men's prayer breakfast.
Melanie Rodriquez, a child welfare worker with DHS, said she is familiar with CrossPointe Church and the summer camps. Tuesday, she worked alongside her daughter Kaylin Feria, 17, who came over to the project site from adjacent Norman High School, where she is a junior.
"It just sounded like something fun to do and it's for a good cause," Feria said.
Rodriguez's eyes filled with tears as she talked about seeing foster children enjoy themselves at the summer camps provided by CrossPointe and its area partners.
"Any time we have a chance to help organizations that help us and help our kids, we want to give back as much as we can," she said. "I've seen so much joy on the faces of the kids when they get to go to camp so the fact that we're here making bunk beds for them, it's great."
Roberts said a similar bunk bed building effort was held Tuesday in Tulsa, where volunteers made 10 bunk bed units totaling 20 beds.
Norman volunteers made 20 bunk bed units totaling 40 beds.
Roberts said the Norman effort was a success through the participation of several businesses, including Forest Lumber, which donated all the wood for the beds. Norman Door & Plywood donated sandpaper and other supplies while Noble Hardwood donated all the screws and hardware. The Oklahoma Pork Council provided meals for volunteers.
Roberts said Thrivent Financial helped underwrite some of the material costs for the project and the investment company offered a matching gift for funds donated at the site or online for 24 hours on Tuesday.
The Rev. Mike Butler, CrossPointe's lead pastor and a Royal Family Kids' Camp volunteer, said "Bunk Bed Build" was another way the church could live out its mission to "transform a home — transform a community."
"We've got a great group of people out there and they have figured out how to best serve these members of our community. We're going to help transform these homes by providing a bed," he said.
"I'm proud that I get to be a part of a fellowship that sees this as an important thing to do."
Giving Tuesday is a global movement that encourages people to give generously to charitable groups and organizations on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving.