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The Dream Weavers

Team members: Row 1 (l-r): LaShauna Harrison, Melanie McLane, Steven Buckingham
Row 2 (l-r): Tommy Blackmon, Carlos Phillips, Harriet Wallace
Not pictured: Mario DeCarvalho

Dream Weavers focuses on one of the least visible aspects of poverty: children who are not homeless, but within their homes, do not have a bed to sleep in. The Dream Weavers team was inspired by similar activities undertaken by agencies in only a handful of other cities. Those cities have recognized that their populations have a certain percentage of children in poverty who live in homes but without beds. It is beyond question that the lack of an opportunity for restful sleep will have a significant impact on a child’s education and development and thereby propagate the insidious cycle of poverty. That reason alone is sufficiently compelling to procure beds for kids in need. However, the project does not stop at merely buying beds for kids.

An additional issue that must be addressed is the lack of awareness of this invisible manifestation of poverty. Accordingly, Dream Weavers obtained plans for building bed frames as well as a detailed list of the tools and materials required so that groups of volunteers could build beds that could be given to kids in need. As a final, personal touch, the groups of volunteers are encouraged to paint designs on the slats of the bed frames to hopefully let their recipients know that there is a community of folks out there who support their dreams. In late May, Dream Weavers assembled to build the first two beds. Both beds were built and painted in well under two hours’ time, demonstrating that this is an accessible service project to people who want to serve in their communities.

Additionally, Dream Weavers procured two mattresses for the beds from Park Place, a local bedding manufacturer. The beds will be given to two children who, with their parents, are moving into a home built for them through Habitat for Humanity. It is the hope of the Dream Weavers that, after DLI graduation, this project will live on in an already existing nonā€profit organization serving Greenville, that volunteers’ eyes will be opened to the simple, yet profound, needs of our community, and that the children served will have a safe, secure place—a bed of their own—on which to rest their head every night.