Collaboration with Substance
I recently had lunch with a wonderful individual who has kindness and the willingness to help others seeping out of every pore of his body. It was a real treat to share some time with Sam Misuraca, founder of Building Beds 4 Kids in Oak Park, Michigan. Sam and his wife, Becky, have been putting kids first over the last three years, devoting their time, energy, and financial support to run a great program that does just what the title of their organization states - build twin-sized wooden bed frames and provide them at absolutely no cost to families in need. They even include mattresses and bedding.
Those that have been loyal readers of 3rd Act weekly newsletters are aware that I was introduced to Sam and Becky prior to the worst of the pandemic spread in Michigan and have been a big supporter ever since of their marvelous endeavor to give back. They are truly making a difference for families navigating the foster care system, families starting over, and families seeking help for children sleeping in deplorable conditions.
Sam and Becky are continuing to make good things happen. During our lunch, Sam mentioned a new really cool endeavor, working in collaborating with a school near their shop. In August, they received a letter from Sharon Berke, Transition Coordinator for Berkley Schools. Sharon develops work-based experiences for her students with disabilities, ranging in age from 16 to 26. She asked if they would be interested in exploring a partnership to help her students at Berkley High School volunteer and gain work experience in their shop.
Sam and Becky quickly replied that they wanted to help. Sam told me that Becky has been the lead dog with the new collaboration. He said she is a wonderful, patient job coach, who helps the students get set up and guides them in all facets of the work. You may recall from my initial blog about the organization that Becky is a retired pediatric nurse and I suspect her training and experiences have come in handy with this new challenge. Sam told me the new collaboration is working well and is a blessing for both the students and the Misuracas in their constant desire to give back to children in the community.
During my lunch with Sam, I instantly found we had many similar stories of trying to determine creative ways to give back to others while continuing to work in our day jobs. I could easily have turned lunch into dinner listening to all of Sam’s life stories and I expect that we will have many more opportunities to share ideas and things to work on collaboratively in the future.
As we hopefully come out of the worst of the pandemic, it is time to start planning for 2022 and a more normal activity schedule. Sam and Becky and their Building Beds 4 Kids effort can use our help as financial donors as well as by contributing bedding, hosting a bedding drive, or even sponsoring a “bed building day.” Please consider making a tax-deductible contribution by writing a check to Building Beds 4 Kids and mail it to: 14241 West Eleven Mile Road, Oak Park, MI 28237.
Sam and Becky are also eager to work with foundations and corporate sponsors to find creative and collaborative ways to work together. Please check out their guidelines and applications to become a distribution partner on their website.
It seems like a logical match for a foundation or corporation to link up with Building Beds 4 Kids and establish a beautiful win/win partnership.
All the best to you and your families,
Roger N. Steed