Many social service agencies in the Philadelphia area help low-income families obtain housing, but few can help families turn their housing into functional homes. As a result, children are forced to sleep on the floor, on sofas, or crowded into bed with several family members. Sleeping arrangements such as these often lead to poor sleep, which goes hand-in-hand with poor health and poor school performance. OHAAT’s Beds for Kids program delivers beds, bedding, and tools that encourage healthy bedtime habits like books and toothbrushes, directly to the homes of children in need. With beds of their very own, children can get the quality and sufficient sleep they need to thrive.
Every child in the program receives a new bed and a bedtime bag, which contains a set of sheets, a blanket, pillow, several age-appropriate books, toothbrush, and a stuffed animal. Children also receive educational messages about healthy sleep habits via a “color-your-own” bookmark and a magnet, and an informational handout about preventing and treating bed bug infestations. OHAAT purchases beds and bedding in bulk from various manufacturers, and partner organizations donate bedding and bedtime items through collection drives. All of the items are sorted, packaged, and delivered by OHAAT’s sixteen-foot box truck and growing body of volunteers.