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Give for Good Louisville: Local nonprofit makes sure every child has a place to sleep

"It doesn't matter where you are or what your situation is, if you need a bed for your child, that is our mission," Lynn Whitaker, with A Place to Sleep said.

SHELBY COUNTY, Ky. — This Thursday, you have the chance to make a big impact on dozens of local organizations looking to change our community.

"Give for Good Louisville," is dubbed the city's most generous 24 hours of giving. 

Among the numerous organizations looking for your support, one you may not have heard of is a Shelby County nonprofit making sure kids have a place to sleep. 

"It doesn't matter where you are or what your situation is, if you need a bed for your child, that is our mission," Lynn Whitaker, logistics coordinator for A Place to Sleep, said.

The organization is based out of Shelbyville, but you won’t find a brick and mortar building there. She says her phone is their office.

For Whittaker, it’s all heart and soul. Her granddaughter, Jessica Collins, founded the non-profit in December of 2009. She was a 10-year-old student at Painted Stone Elementary School and had just watched the movie, The Blindside, when she realized not every kid has their own bed.  

"You get the heart of an elementary school student who just wanted to make a difference, and that's how it all started," Artavia Acklin, principal at Painted Stone, said.

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Since 2009, A Place to Sleep has provided nearly 2,700 beds to kids across 45 Kentucky counties along with families in Oklahoma, Indiana and Ohio.

"Now, this year is going to be a really big year because we had the tornadoes in Bowling Green…and then the floods in eastern Kentucky," Whittaker said.

Most beds are twin sized, but that can change depending on the child and the space in the home. Every bed frame, mattress, pillow and sheet set is made possible through donations and volunteers. 

"We had 119 children on the list when I left the house this morning, but my phone has been dinging, so I'm sure there are more now," Whittaker said.

Acklin says that many students walk through her school's doors tired.

"That is the vast reality, that lots of students just don't have beds," she said. "They come in, they're tired, they're not getting good sleep."

Painted Stone is a Title I School, so there are no shortages of families in need.

"Every kid needs a good night's sleep, a good meal to get the day started. And when you don't have proper bedding, when you're sharing a bed, or sleeping on the floor, that wreaks havoc on the educational process," Acklin said.

Over the years, A Place to Sleep has helped provide comfort to 180 families at Painted Stone and beds are continuing to come in. 

"It's such an amazing thing to have the child run outside, jumping up and down saying, my bed's here! And they want to carry the bed in," Whittaker said. "Or their teacher says, 'she told me she got her bed, and she was so excited when she came in today!' It really touches your heart."

Because of a bed and the community's generosity. 

"If it's in your heart to give and you're able to give, please give because the money goes to an amazing cause," Acklin said.

A Place to Sleep works to get beds for children from birth to graduating high school seniors. If you’re in need, Whittaker says it's best to start with your school’s family resource coordinator. They can get you in touch with the program. 

If you’d like to donate to A Place to Sleepclick here.

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