Giving the Gift of a Good Night’s Sleep

There’s something to be said about getting a good night’s sleep. Many of us might toss and turn, struggling to get the sleep we need. A good night's sleep is fundamental, especially for kids. Before they can be expected to learn, grow and become prosperous, basic needs like food, shelter and sleep need to be met. That's why our University Branch decided to partner with a local organization called, ‘My Very Own Bed,’ to bring comfortable sleep to kids across the Twin Cities.

My Very Own Bed’s mission is to provide new beds and children ages 2-17 in families who have recently moved into more stable housing in the Twin Cities metro. With each bed, they also provide a “Dream Kit,” which includes a set of sheets, a pillow, a mattress pad, a book, a blanket, and a stuffed animal. Affinity Plus was able to donate 60 Dream Kits along with extra supplies to make another 40. Those donated Dream Kits help meet the organization’s demand for almost one full month.

“Any donation we receive, I'm always humbled by the generosity of our community,” said Michael Allen, Executive Director and Founder of My Very Own Bed. “More importantly, on what it means to me, is what it means to the 100 kids the donations from Affinity provided. The kids have absolutely loved the stuffed animals, comfy blankets, and new sheets. We believe that all children deserve at least a small, comfortable place to call their own, on which to read, to dream, and, most importantly, to get a healthy night’s sleep.”

Allen founded My Very Own Bed in 2014 with one goal in mind: to provide a new bed to children moving into more stable housing. The impact has increased in the community each year. By providing beds and linens to kids who need them, they’re making those new homes more livable and restful. Amber Shanley, Market Manager at the University Branch, says she knew that the team wanted to do something special for My Very Own Bed.  

“Something that has always been true for the University team is that we love making an impact with children. Our involvement with My Very Own Bed started with a story from Brenda on the team from her experience working within a metro school district and seeing the results firsthand when a child does not get a good night’s sleep,” said Shanley. “We felt that we could make a difference here for children in our community and also include a little bit of personality from each person on the team with them selecting a stuffed animal of their choice to be included as part of the dream kit – everyone was so excited for this! From standard teddy bears, monkeys, TMNT, a blue octopus or Sven from Frozen – we were hopeful that the joy we had putting everything together would be mirrored by the children receiving the dream kits. Seeing the photos afterwards was confirmation.”  

My Very Own Bed is supported by foundations and contributions from individuals. The organization always looking for volunteers. If you are interested, please visit www.myveryownbed.org.