Slumberland Furniture held its annual bed giveaway on Monday, Dec. 2, as part of its Homes for the Holidays program.
The long running program, now in its 28th year, saw the business give away 70 beds, with nearly 80 handmade quilts made by church members in Cavalier, Grand Forks and Northwood, N.D. Dozens of volunteers turned up at Slumberland Furniture’s location at 1449 32nd Avenue South for a catered breakfast before loading trucks to deliver and set up beds for families in the region.
“It’s a wonderful event. I always say it’s great to live in a community that cares, and nothing demonstrates that caring more than this event,” said Grand Forks Mayor Mike Brown, who attends the giveaway every year.
The price of the beds are discounted by Slumberland’s vendors, then are purchased by Slumberland employees, volunteers, churches, and local businesses. Slumberland partners with the Grand Forks Housing Authority to determine who is most in need of a new bed.
“All of these beds are going to families with children who don’t have a bed today, so I think this is great,” said Terry Hanson, executive director of the Grand Forks Housing Authority. “All of the people that come to deliver every year, I think it’s a great reflection of our community.”
Hanson, in a brief speech to the gathered volunteers, spoke of the “great need” for beds for some families. He said poverty in Grand Forks hangs at around 20%, the highest rate in the state outside of Native American reservations.
“We do have a great need, this is a great contribution towards meeting some of those needs,” said Hanson, before going on to thank the volunteers who bought the beds and delivered them, as well as everyone involved in organizing the event, and the quilters as well.
One of those quilters, Ila Dahlen, of Northwood, said all the material for the quilts is donated, and that her group of around six people, members of Washington Lutheran Church outside of Northwood, have been making quilts for around 20 years.
“We try to do about three or four on a Monday,” said Dahlen, whose group contributed 38 quilts.
Slumberland Store manager Andrew Daily was on hand to help load beds onto trucks. He said that of all the 50 to 60 corporate run stores, the Grand Forks location donated the most beds outside of Minneapolis, Minn., and Des Moines, Iowa.
“It truly would not be possible without the time commitment, donations and support that we have from all of you, and all the members of the community who are not able to be here today who helped raise funds (and) donate quilts,” said Daily in his remarks to the group of nearly 50 gathered volunteers. “It’s really a community effort.”