Volunteers help construct a bed

Wooster volunteers construct one of four bed frames delivered to the home of Brittani Harper for her four children as part of the College's "Snug in Their Beds" program.


‘Snug in Their Beds’ Delivers to Needy Children

Program ensures that at least 30 children will have a bed on which to sleep this Christmas

December 14, 2012 by John Finn

WOOSTER, Ohio — All Brittani Harper wanted for Christmas was a nice warm bed — well four, actually — for each of her young children, and Santa’s “elves” delivered on Friday afternoon with four extra-long twin mattresses and frames, courtesy of The College of Wooster’s “Snug in Their Beds” program.

Now in its fifth year, the program provides beds to needy children in Wooster and surrounding areas in collaboration with United Way of Wayne and Holmes Counties. The beds come from a supply that has been cycled out of service as new ones are placed in Wooster’s Residence Halls.

A surprising number of children across the country, including many in northeast Ohio, go to sleep each night on a cushion or a pile of blankets instead of a bed, but each year “Snug in Their Beds” supplies approximately 30 beds to children who have spent much of their lives without one. Not only that, but offices and organizations on campus pitch in to supply new sheets, pillows, blankets, bed lamps, stuffed animals, and anything else that would help to ensure a restful night’s sleep.

In the Harper Household, 5-year old Daniyah and 3-year old Zareah watched with excitement as the beds were delivered and set up by a group of Wooster employees and students who served as volunteers. “This means a lot,” said Harper. “The children are very excited. This is going to be a great Christmas.”

Harper’s sons, Isaiah (8) and Jeremiah (6), were greeted by the new beds when they arrived home from school about an hour later. Now the family is ready to start planning its next activity — a sleepover with friends.

The recipients weren’t the only ones moved by the gracious gifts. The volunteers were also touched by the moment, including Jeanece Paige, a junior communication studies major from Atlanta. “I’ve always wanted to give back to this community,” she said. “The City of Wooster has given so much to me during my time here. This was a great way to return the favor.” There was a practical payoff for Paige as well. “I’m interested in getting into community development in low-income areas,” she said. “Experiences like this will help me to prepare for that type of profession.”

With bright sunshine and mild temperatures (high 40s), it didn’t look a lot like Christmas when the volunteers left on Friday afternoon, but for four young children and their mother, it sure did feel like it.