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10 Bulloch kids to get “A Place to Dream’
dreams

The YMCA of Coastal Georgia’s “A Place to Dream” program will deliver 10 beds Saturday for children without their own dedicated place to sleep in Bulloch County.

In partnership with the Housing Authority of Statesboro, L.A. Waters Furniture and Emergency Training, the Y’s A Place to Dream program provides a twin-size bed frame, mattress and pillow, complete linen set and a gift bag with a story book, bible and a stuffed animal.

Also, the Bulloch County food pantry will provide one bag of groceries.

With a delivery scheduled for this month, the YMCA of Coastal Georgia has a goal of delivering at least 250 beds by the end of 2022 in the entire Savannah Area.

According to a release from Coastal Georgia YMCA, many area children sleep on floors, couches, chairs or in shared beds with siblings or other family members. Many of these children are not getting the recommended amount of sleep per night, putting them at risk for cognitive and developmental delays, the release said.

According to the Georgia Early Education Alliance for Ready Students, the most rapid period of brain development happens between birth and age 8, where sleep is most essential to this growth.

“When we really looked at the level of need, we knew we had to react,” said YMCA of Coastal Georgia President & CEO Joel Smoker of the program’s initial development. “Research continually demonstrates the effects a good night’s sleep has on a child’s mental, emotional and intellectual development. If we can provide the tools to help children thrive, we’re going to act.”

In December 2021, the program expanded to Statesboro with the delivery of 10 bed sets, gift bags and a bag of food items from Statesboro’s TMT Farms.

L.A. Waters Furniture provides a truck and loading/unloading help for delivery days, and a bevy of volunteers assemble the beds inside homes. For 2023, the goal is to double the amount of beds to 20 beds donated in the community.

Heading the program up is YMCA Pastor Herb Hubbard. Pastor Hubbard was himself a foster child and understands the strain that not getting a good night’s sleep can place on children.

“When I was a child, I often felt insecure in foster housing, and not sleeping well made it extra tough on me in school,” he explains. “I was also afraid of the dark—that’s why I think it’s important that we include a small flashlight in all our gift bags. So that the children don’t ever have to be afraid of the dark and can rest easy.”

All funds raised for A Place to Dream go directly to the support of the program, offsetting the cost per bed of around $300, and expense of purchasing and filling the gift bags with books and other supplies.

To learn more about the program or to make a gift, visit YMCAofCoastalGA.org/APlacetoDream. For media information, contact Summer Bozeman, director of communications & marketing at summer.bozeman@ymcaofcoastalga.org or (912) 438-0161. 

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