ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – One local organization is going above and beyond to help children and families throughout Southeast Georgia with no place to lay their heads.
In nearly eight years, Operation Bed Spread has given over 1,000 beds to families and children who need them, providing comfort and stability for children, while promoting education.
"What if those were your children across the river sleeping on the floor? You know, it's important,” Operation Bed Spread Executive Director Rees Carroll said. “The only chance that some of these kids are going to have is education, and if they can't sleep, they're not going to get that education. It's just a fact.”
Michelle, who declined to give her last name, lived in a hotel for two years with her family. After she moved into a new home and had a newborn baby, Michelle had to make a choice most parents couldn't imagine.
"I was down to the wire. Either I pay the rent of the place we just moved to, or I go out and spend hundreds of dollars that I didn't have at the time to buy a bed,” Michelle said.
But Michelle and her family received two twin beds through Operation Bed Spread last Christmas Eve, and she said it's made all the difference.
"I don't worry as much because I know when it's time to go to bed, they have a bed. They have somewhere warm, somewhere cool in the summertime, to lay their head down and get a good night's rest,” Michelle said. "Now my 7-year-old, who is in school, his grades have improved. And us, as parents, we don't think about, you know, how big of a difference a bed makes in a child's life. And it does, because good rest equals better achievement, better rest and better grades."
Carroll said those positive results are what the organization is hoping for.
"Sleeping is important, it's as important as eating and breathing. You got to sleep,” Carroll said. “If we can help one child, everything we do is worth it."
Through donations, the nonprofit organization gives away mattresses, box springs, frames, sheets and pillows.
Operation Bed Spread is constantly working to fill the never-ending need for beds for children and their families.
If you would like to donate or need assistance, you can find more information at https://operationbed.org/.