Bunkbed deliveries are becoming a regular occurrence for our PRC Love Your Neighbor team. A request comes through CarePortal, from a DHS caseworker, with a brief description of the situation and the kids that need a bed. In each foster case, the foster home only has a certain amount of days to provide a bed for the kids or the kids will be moved again – it doesn’t matter if the foster home is actually family or someone providing foster care – the same rules apply.
We had a request come through that was for a family that already had seven kids and was taking in four nieces and nephews. 11 kids in one home – wow! The request only asked for one bunkbed, so that’s what we loaded up and took with us.
We get to the home and start unloading everything. As we’re unloading, I start talking with the dad who is just starting to get back to work after an injury. So, he is recovering from an injury and taking in four new kids at the same time. I was immediately impressed by this man’s heart and love for his family. What a tough time to take in four more kids.
As we’re putting the bed together, the younger kids in the home are gathering around asking questions and just talking about school and other normal things kids like to share. We learned that this bed is for two girls and they aren’t shy about asking to help. They are soon helping us drive screws and put the bedding on the mattresses.
As we finish up, I am feeling great – I absolutely love seeing little kids excited to go to bed! I love being a small part in their story that will have a big impact on their life.
But then, as we’re packing up the tools and getting ready to leave one of the little boys comes up to me and asks, “Are you going to set up my new bunkbed now?”
MY. HEART. SANK.
had to hold back tears as I explained to him that we only brought one bunkbed with us. I told him that if he needed a bed we would make sure he gets one. On the way out, I asked the mom if they needed another bunkbed – and, yep, they still needed one more. So I told her we would be in contact to set up another delivery.
[Fast forward a few days.]
Our Pulpit Rock CarePortal director (who happens to be my wife), saw another request come through for groceries for the same family. So, because of some generous donations to be used specifically for CarePortal, she was able to meet the mom at Walmart and buy her $500 worth of groceries, pots and pans, dishes and other items the family needed to take care of 11 kids.
[Fast forward a few more days.]
We hadn’t heard back on the next bunkbed delivery. Then, my wife gets an email from the caseworker in a little bit of a panic – she wants to get the other bunkbed delivered as soon as possible.
I wasn’t available to help with the delivery, so I emailed our COSILOVEYOU volunteer team and several people stepped up – on a Sunday afternoon, they coordinated the pickup of the bunkbed from our storage unit, took it over to the home and got it set up.
That was the last we heard about any of it – we did what we could to help.
[Fast forward a few more days.]
My wife and I are at the CarePortal fall kickoff meeting at the DHS offices. These meetings are a good way for churches that are new to CarePortal to get more info and for other churches and the DHS staff to talk about what is working and what isn’t working.
As we we’re finishing up, the lady sitting next to us says she is a Gaurdian ad litem (GAL). Basically, that means she works on foster cases and makes sure the kids are represented well in court. She starts tearing up and said she wanted to give a big thanks to Pulpit Rock Church. She had just come from a court hearing that morning where four kids were allowed to stay with their aunt and uncle – largely due to the fact that they had beds to sleep in. If they did not have beds, each kid would be moved into separate foster homes.
Because the people of Pulpit Rock truly understand what it means to be the hands and feet of Christ, these four kids get to stay with family – they have nice, new beds to sleep in. They know they are valued and that they belong.
Are you interested in volunteering with the PRC COSILoveYou team? Or do you know someone who needs help? Contact Luke. You can also like the PRC Love Your Neighbor page to hear the stories and see photos of projects.
While our focus is still building beds, we are thrilled that we get to serve the community in a variety of ways as Love Your Neighbor has grown over the years.