I know it is easy to question the future of our country if you let yourself get caught up in the daily craziness of the news headlines. One can drift along and just react to whatever comes day to day or you can decide to focus on making a positive difference and put your energy and mind into something good that will improve the lives of others.
It seems I say this every week but I am meeting and talking to some fantastic people since I launched the 3rd Act and it is truly inspirational to see what kindness and contributions so many people in our communities are making every day.
Sam and Becky Misuraca are truly making a difference for kids living in a world they don’t deserve. It is a sad reality that many children raised in tough family conditions are forced to sleep in cars, on floors, and in horribly crowded rooms with siblings and other relatives. They don’t have any idea what it is like to have their own bed.
Sam and Becky have witnessed this reality over the last five years as they have helped kids in foster care, working to reunite families pulled apart by unimaginable situations. Listening to Sam talk last week about his devotion to helping kids was one of those moments when I quickly knew I was sitting with a great guy who is, as they say, “All In” in his desire to provide beds for children. There was an emotion that was wonderful and powerful at the same time.
Blessed with a fantastic family including 14 grandchildren, Sam and Becky have been paying it forward by steadily growing Building Beds 4 Kids, a nonprofit focused exclusively on providing beds, mattresses, and bedding supplies to families in need. Their three-year-old endeavor, supported physically and financially by family and friends, has provided over 700 beds for children in need.
Sam runs the workshop in Oak Park, Michigan, and Becky works with families and charitable organizations in need of beds. A retired attorney, Sam started this project without any knowledge about how to build a bed or even use power tools. Through some compassionate friends and working closely with two non-profits, the Furniture Bank and Sleep in Heavenly Peace, he found the support and skills needed to start his own nonprofit.
As Sam’s bed building expertise improved over the years, he has fine-tuned the process with his own design of a quality, yet low-cost, easily replicated bed. It is really cool to see his workshop with several stations, saws, and equipment meticulously placed on the floor.
I got a strong feeling that Sam is a pretty good teacher when he instructs volunteer groups on how to use the equipment and put the beds together. What Sam calls “A Build” is when the Rotary Club or a group from the Presbytery of Detroit comes in to drill, saw, and follow Sam’s instruction to make a sturdy bed that conveniently collapses into an easily transportable form.
A key supporter of BB4K is the Rev. Dr. Kathryn Thoresen, coordinator of the statewide Faith Communities Coalition on Foster Care, and parish associate for foster and/or adoptive families’ partnerships at First Presbyterian Church in Birmingham, Michigan. Sam and Becky expressed strong appreciation for the help and assistance shown by “Kate” Thoresen and other parishes in the Detroit area that have volunteered to build beds and provide bedding drives for families in need.
Sam and Becky don’t like a lot of attention thrown their way in their effort to help kids. While I really appreciate that, I also know that the nonprofit must buy wood, mattresses, and other materials in order to build these cool beds every week. Even though they are a 501 (c)(3) organization and 100% of donations and sponsorships are tax-deductible, they don’t have a convenient donate button I can provide you at the moment.
Sam promises they are working on a new website, but until that is up and running I want to encourage you to consider Building Beds 4 Kids as you write your checks to your favorite charities this holiday season. My wife and I plan to do our part in helping their effort.
If you want to see what a small donation will do for a young boy without a bed, please check out my friend Tony waiting for his new bed.
For contributions, please make your check out to:
Building Beds 4 Kids
14241 West Eleven Mile Road, Oak Park, MI 48237
I love the wonderful connections that are taking place in an effort to help others. This newsletter today featuring Sam and Becky Misuraca would not have been possible without a string of great introductions and connections over the last several months by a few old and new friends.
Think about this! My golf and tennis buddy, Jack Fraser, sends one of the first 3rd Act newsletters to our mutual friend, Jenny Bailey, who then connects me through email to Kimber Bishop Yanke, who you know from my podcast has her own nonprofit, kidsempowered.com, helping families in Pontiac, Michigan. As I got to know Kimber and her great efforts with “My Covid Response,’ finding and distributing food, furniture, and other necessities to families in Pontiac, she introduces me to Sam Misuraca and his mission to build beds for kids in need.
So, now my quest is to get Sam and Becky to introduce me to Rev. Kate Thoresen from the First Presbyterian Church in Birmingham to strike up a conversation about the good work she is orchestrating in our community and see where it leads.
See how easy it is. Pretty soon I’m going find out I’m related to Brad Pitt, another famous Shawnee, Oklahoma, personality. Haha!
Seriously, please don’t hesitate to introduce me to individuals and organizations making a difference in your community. I know there are many good groups doing great things to help others. Let’s spread the word…
Speaking of connections check out this video from OneRepublic of their hit song “Connection” from August 2018. Sidebar - lead singer Ryan Tedder is from Tulsa, Oklahoma. Note the line in the song, “Kids from Oklahoma, man we don’t’ waste it.”
Hey, if anyone knows Ryan I would love to chat with him. Just sayin’.
All the best to you and your family.
Roger N. Steed