The YMCA of Coastal Georgia believes that all children can achieve more in life when they get a good night’s rest. In partnership with the Housing Authority of Savannah, the YMCA of Coastal Georgia is proud to announce the launch of A Place to Dream, a bed donation program, on Saturday, November 16, 2019 at 8 am. With the help of over 30 community volunteers, A Place to Dream will gift 28 new beds to children in our community.
Each night in Chatham County, there are children going to sleep on floors, couches or alongside multiple family members in one bed. Without a space of their own, many of these children are not getting the recommended amount of sleep per night, putting them at risk for cognitive and developmental delays. In 2018, approximately 27% of families entering public housing were previously homeless and did not own a single piece of furniture. With an average income of $11,398.00 for a family in public housing and 50% of children aged 0-5 in Chatham County being economically disadvantaged, there is a critical need for support for our local children and families. According to GEEARS (Georgia Early Education Alliance for Ready Students), the most rapid period of brain development in human life happens from birth to age 8, where sleep is essential to this growth.
Through an application process, The Housing Authority of Savannah has selected 28 children to receive beds as part of the program launch. A Place to Dream aims to provide each recipient a safe, secure space to call their own. In addition to a bed, each child will receive sheets, a pillow and comforter, a bag with a book, stuffed animals, a bible, flashlight, toy and a care bag from local non-profit P.A.C.K.. Looking towards the future, The YMCA of Coastal Georgia is working diligently to host quarterly a place to dream bed donation events, addressing this critical need in our community.
“It is easy for some of us to take for granted having a warm bed to sleep in at night,” said Joel Smoker, President & CEO of the YMCA of Coastal Georgia. “When we really looked at the level of need, right here in our neighborhoods, we knew we had to react. Research continually demonstrates the affects a good night’s sleep has on a child’s physical, emotional and intellectual development. If we can provide the tools to help children thrive, we’re going to act.”