Breaking the Slumber: Offering RestRich Stigall
There are a number of non-profit organizations dedicated to the welfare of children. Sleepyhead Beds is one of them. This organization exists to serve the children of the Kansas City metropolitan area and has delivered over 5,000 gently used, sanitized beds since 2010. We celebrate their work and are grateful for their contributions to the overall health of the KC kids.
Yet, despite the inspiring efforts by those organizations such as Sleepyhead Beds, the very existence of the organization is predicated upon the existence of the need. For Sleepyhead Beds, a bed offers more than just comfort: it is a symbol of stability and security for a child who may have otherwise had to search for a place to rest his or her head. For families struggling to provide stability in the home, a bed can represent more than a material possession but a chance for none other than rest among the whirlwind.
Yet, the need for these organizations is more often greater than their resources, and social workers looking to fill a need must consider alternatives when these organizations cannot respond. This reality was recently illustrated as part of a request on The Care Portal:
Care Portal Request: 335 County: Jackson–MO City: Kansas City
Description: An 18-year-old mother in one of our worker’s caseloads has a 4-year-old son. The mother and her child have returned home to the 4-year-old’s maternal grandmother. The grandmother came to the U.S. from Nigeria and has very limited income. The child needs a twin bed to sleep on. I put in a request to Sleepy Head Beds. I received an e-mail back that they have a waiting list for over 100 requests. This is why I came seeking assistance through the Care Portal.
It is with gladness in our hearts that we celebrate a church’s decision to meet this need. Rather than having to sift through a number of non-profits, hoping to locate an available resources, the social worker can engage the church to meet the burden in its community. To the family in want and the social worker in pursuit, a testimony has been made. It’s the evidence of the love of the church, daring to break from its own slumber of unawareness, committing to the needs of its community.
It’s a conversation changer. In the hypercritical and cynical era of our times, it’s the church emerging from the toils and snares of 21st century political jargon and slander, demonstrating its fundamental importance to meeting and to sharing the needs of these least of these in the community. It’s the manifestation of faith, hope and love with the very name of the church.
Yet, such a change in the church’s collective testimony can never happen in a moment. No, I daresay that this kind of testimony and reputation will require a sustained effort. It’s little by little, with each church doing its part.