Franklin County

545 beds for children built during blitz

Nearly 1,000 volunteers came together in Frankfort for a 24-hour blitz that ended Sunday at noon to build beds for needy school-age children.

When the sawdust settled at the AmeriCorps Build-A-Bed project, about 545 beds were ready to be donated across Kentucky, said project spokesman David Bachert. an AmeriCorps remedial reading teacher.

Every bed and mattress will be accompanied by a care package that includes a set of sheets, a handmade quilt, a night light, books, a stuffed toy and toiletries, Bachert said.

This was the second year for Build-A-Bed. Last year, volunteers assembled a total of 50 beds at five locations around the state. This year, for greater efficiency, they centralized their work in a hangar at the Kentucky National Guard headquarters in the capital.

Volunteers want to help low-income children get the good night's sleep that other people might take for granted, Bachert said. Sleep deprivation can lead to health problems in children, he said.

"There are a lot of kids in Kentucky who have to share beds," Bachert said. "Or they maybe don't have a real bed, they sleep on the floor on an air mattress. Or they lost their bed to bed bugs or in a fire or something like the flooding we saw last week."

AmeriCorps will truck the beds to 18 drop-off locations across Kentucky, where additional volunteers can deliver them to local families.

Bachert said children were selected for the program based on referrals from the state Cabinet for Health and Family Services, the Red Cross and other agencies.