COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho — Bye-bye, beat-up old mattresses.
Hello, clean, cushy comfort.
Family Promise of North Idaho received 16 new mattresses that will be used by local children and families who are experiencing homelessness, as reported by our news partner the Coeur d'Alene Press.
"It’s a pretty good ‘Woo hoo!’” Family Promise executive director Cindy Wood exclaimed, throwing her hands into the air.
"I’m super excited because one of the biggest complaints I get is about the beds being uncomfortable," Family Promise caseworker Lisa Donaldson said. "I’m excited for our families that they’re going to have somewhere more comfortable to sleep. And with today the way it is, they are easily sanitized, and that’s huge for right now."
The swap-out took place last week at Trinity Lutheran Church, where church officials and Family Promise representatives placed their hands on a new mattress as Lutheran Church of the Master pastor Bob Albing said a blessing and the old mattresses were hauled away.
The procurement of all-new mattresses was made possible through the Bed Buddy campaign, which launched in January. Led by Trinity Lutheran Church and Lutheran Church of the Master, campaign organizers learned they could purchase new mattresses locally and at a better rate than the previous 2015 transaction, when mattresses were purchased from North Carolina and shipping alone was about $900.
Trinity Lutheran parishioner Dan LaVine, a co-owner of the Coeur d'Alene company National Mattress and Furniture, had connections to assist with the campaign. National Mattress donated time and delivered the breathable, waterproof, hospital-grade mattresses free of charge.
With the generosity of community donors along with a $250 grant from Advent Lutheran Church in Spokane, support from National Mattress, $2,000 from Coldwell Banker Schneidmiller Realty and $135 from Dougherty and Associates CPAs, the swap from old to new cut costs from about $4,000 to just more than $2,000.
“This isn’t about our business," LaVine said. "God graced us with the resources and presented us with the opportunity to offer those resources to our neighbor, praise be to God."
LaVine has another reason for his motivation to help with this cause.
"I was homeless as a kid,” he said. "This is a big thing for me. As a teenager, I lived in a shelter for a while."
He said the whole point is to integrate those experiencing homelessness, "to show them that they're not forgotten."
Through Family Promise, families are provided bedding and private rooms in host churches they'll call home for a week. Family Promise serves an average of 18 families per year, and 50% of all guests are younger than 6.
"They’re still human beings, they’re just disadvantaged temporarily," LaVine said. "This is about trying to do God’s work.”
INFOBOX: Family Promise of North Idaho is hosting a Cinco de Mayo Fiesta Mexican dinner to benefit homeless families from 5:30 to 9 p.m., May 5, at The Coeur d'Alene Resort. Tickets are $75 and can be purchased at familypromiseni.org or by calling 208-777-4190.
The Coeur d'Alene Press is a KREM 2 news partner. For more from our news partner, click here.