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Build A Bed...or 500

by Siobhan Dugan

What happens when you put together 20 tons of lumber, dozens of AmeriCorps members and about 2,000 volunteers working for 24 hours straight? Five hundred Kentucky kids get brand new beds of their own, complete with sheets, blankets, pillows, nightlights, cuddly toys and books for all the all-important bedtime reading.

It’s all part of the AmeriCorps Week kick-off taking place from noon May 8 to noon May 9 in Frankfort, KY, the biggest project in the four-year history of AmeriCorps Week. The Build-A-Bed project volunteers include AmeriCorps members as well as Senior Corps, Learn and Serve America, the National Guard, and the family members of some of the children who will be receiving the beds. The shifts from noon to 11 p.m. on May 8 are full, but things won’t slow down during the night. National Guard members challenged the three AmeriCorps NCCC teams to see who can build a bed faster during the wee hours. Stay tuned to find out the winner.

A 24-hour blitz doesn’t happen overnight, so to speak, and this one has garnered support from all quarters. Governor Steve Beshear and First Lady Jane Beshearurged their fellow Kentuckians to get involved. A man who didn’t give his name passed by the National Guard facility where NCCC members were prepping for the project and when he found out what they were doing, treated them all to lunch.

Children who don't get enough sleep are more prone to attention deficit disorder, so they have trouble learning and succeeding in school, leading to further problems as they grow older. As a result of all this effort and hard work, 500 Kentucky kids will sleep easier for many nights to come. 

And that’s just one of the hundreds of AmeriCorps Week projects going on between now and May 15.

Learn more about AmeriCorps Week at AmeriCorpsWeek.gov.

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