*For Immediate Release*
Beds for Kids Benefit Concert Brings in over $6500!
$3302.39 was raised in cash donations and over 100 bedding items were donated during the BEDS FOR KIDS Benefit Concert held at the Summit Center in Tupelo Thursday August 23rd. A commitment was made to match the donations of the evening which would bring the cash total to $6600. The event’s purpose was not only to increase awareness about the great need for beds for children in the community but primarily to raise funds and collect items to fill this need.
One of the faith-based projects undertaken by The Family Resource Center of North Mississippi (FRC), through their joint program of Families First for Mississippi (FFFM) with Mississippi Community Education Center (MCEC), the lack of beds came to light earlier this year during interaction with clients who come to the organization for assistance in overcoming a variety of other needs.
When the BEDS FOR KIDS initiative began, help and direction was found in Madison, Mississippi, and the group there provided invaluable assistance in getting the project off the ground. Faith-based Coordinator Stanley Huddleston sought and found a source and mentor for fulfilling the need.
In April of 2018, FRC/FFFM began a partnership with Parkway Hills United Methodist Church in Madisonto bring beds to north Mississippi families, starting in Lee County. Parkway Hills members cut the lumber for shipping at their facility before transport to Tupelo when the assembly was to be completed and then paired with mattresses for delivery.
Since those first efforts a few months ago, beds are made and finished here in shop space donated by a member of Mt. Olive Baptist Church of Baldwyn, where church members work with FRC/FFFM staff to build twin beds. Qualification and delivery are established and managed by FFFM.
Initially, products and funds were donated by businesses and individuals with a heart for helping those around them. From Baldwyn, Kizer Automotive, Innocor, First Christian Church, S & J Auto Parts, Baldwyn Hardware and Norboard of Guntown were among the first contributors. Soon, other businesses and individuals joined the list which has grown to such a size that listing all would be difficult.
Despite the initial support, the word is out that FRC/FFFM is in the business of making sure all children have a place to sleep at night. Many requests are now coming in from qualified recipients and funds are needed to continue this ministry. In order to meet this need, Christi Webb tasked Brennan Butler, one of the media coordinators, with putting together a concert to raise the needed funds. Embracing the task, Brennan pulled together an award-winning music duo to headline the event and brought in local notables as well. Ted DiBiase of wrestling fame served as MC, along with Kay Bain and Will Kollmeyer who are locally know in radio and other public arenas.
Jason Crabb and Gerald Crabb, both award-winning song-writer/artists stepped up to the podium, so to speak, and agreed to be the featured entertainers for the Beds for Kids concert. Brennan and her college roommate, Brittney McGee, also charmed the audience in song.
During the evening, Christi Webb, Executive Director of FRC/FFFM, took the stage to introduce one special family that had been recipients of beds. The young man with the microphone touched all with his prayer: “God, thank you for my bed!”
At the culmination of the evening’s events, FRC/FFFM was delighted to return generosity to the patrons there for the evening with a drawing of “gifts” donated by some of the businesses of Tupelo: Drawing winners were given gift cards for meals donated by Chili’s, Olive Garden, McAllister’s, Sweet Peppers. Other gifts were from Lifeway Bookstore, Jason Crabb musical collections, Wal-Mart cards, O’Charlie’s, Outback Steakhouse, and Longhorn Steakhouse.