JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – More than 150 children across Jacksonville who haven't had a bed of their own will enjoy that feeling this week thanks to Ashley HomeStore and the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Hope to Dream is the furniture store's program to donate free beds to children in need by allotting a portion of all mattress sales to the program.
In total, Ashley HomeStore will deliver more than 150 complete bed sets to children this week, adding to the thousands that have received bed donations through the program.
The Jaguars partner with Ashley HomeStore for a game-day program called Hit the Sack, which gifts an
additional bed to a local child for every Jaguars sack. Following a record-setting performance by the Jaguars defense in 2017, expectations are high for Hit the Sack to yield a record number of additional beds once again this season, Ashley officials said.
“Unfortunately, just because Ashley HomeStore has exceeded more than 65,000 beds, doesn’t mean that the problem is solved,” said Howard Fineman, CEO of Ashley HomeStore – Jacksonville. “Children are still sleeping on floors, sharing beds with siblings, or sleeping on sofas with no sanctuary of their own. Hit the Sack brings Hope to Dream and the community into the fold in a fun, yet meaningful way -- and changes the life of a child forever.”
Fineman said the first Hope to Dream bed was given away in Jacksonville seven years ago and today the number of children sleeping in Hope to Dream beds nationwide would fill every seat at TIAA Bank Field.
In 2016, Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry declared Aug. 8 Hope to Dream Day in Jacksonville.
To mark Hope to Dream Day 2018, the Jaguars and Ashley HomeStore teamed up in a celebration at the stadium that included an announcement from Fineman that the children at the event would each receive a BedGear Performance Pillow and complete bedding set to go along with the new bed that was being delivered to their homes.
The children and their chaperones enjoyed activities, including stadium tours, games, photos with Jaxson de Ville and The Roar, and a surprise encounter with Jacksonville Jaguar players. Bono’s Pit Bar-B-Q donated a full meal for all participants and volunteers.
Jaguars and Ashley HomeStore partners have jumped on board to make the event more memorable for the children via donations, including BedGear, Bono’s Pit Bar-B-Q, Culligan, Florida Blue, Genesis Financial, iComfort, Tropical Smoothie and Crest.
Families in need of beds for children ages 3-16 can complete nomination forms in any local Ashley
HomeStore showroom, Ashley Outlet location or online at www.ahopetodream.com.