The B Squad Projects gives 51 new beds to less fortunate children
Thanks to the efforts of a group of local volunteers, several less fortunate Whitley County children received new beds and other presents Saturday.
Saturday morning, The B Squad Project held Gutsy Gunner’s Sweet Dreams – which is named after four-year-old Gunner Bowlin, who suffers from Hirshsprung’s Disease, gave away the 51 beds to children, who may not have a bed to sleep in at night.
It wasn’t just beds that the children received. Each came with a mattress and bed bug protector, sheets, a comforter, a pillow, pajamas, a Christmas stocking, extra blankets, a winter hat and an ornament with their name on it.
“This year we are really excited we went from 32 beds to 51 beds,” noted The B Squad Project President and Founder Shannon Barman.
She added the charity is hoping to do more beds for children next year.
The giveaway was held at the Williamsburg Tourism and Convention Center where various celebrities were on hand to assist the children in locating their new beds, including: The Grinch, Captain America, Elsa from Frozen, and a couple of local wrestlers.
Tess Garrett was one of the children, who got a new bed, and noted that the thing she liked best about it was it was comfortable.
Mountain Outreach built the beds with The B Squad providing some assistance, and helping to paint some of the beds.
“Mountain Outreach was amazing coming up with the designs,” Barman added.
Some of the beds are set up as bunk beds because last year some families with multiple children found that they had trouble fitting two of the beds in one bedroom, Barman noted.
Williamsburg City Councilwoman Laurel West reminded the crowd Saturday that the theme for this year’s event was “world changers.”
“Everyone of you all have the ability to be a world changer by making the right decisions and by being a good person,” West said. “This gal right here, Ms. Shannon, her life as a child wasn’t always easy. It was really hard and rough and tough what she went through. Look at her today. She is a world changer … Any time you can, be a world changer.”
Barman noted that the bed giveaway was initially projected to cost about $24,000 to conduct this year, but thanks to grants and donations those cost went down to $18,000.
Pizza Hut donated an additional $6,000 for the project. J.C. Penney gave $1,250, and Walmart donated $2,000 for the mattresses.
Barman noted that all The B Squad’s projects are named after children of the board members.
“We have designed a way for our children to give back to their community and leave a legacy of giving back,” Barman said.
The B Squad Project is a non-profit organization that does three projects a year. In addition to the bed giveaway, the group also does the Nick’s Kicks shoe giveaway, and last year helped take 53 children on $150 back to school shopping sprees at J.C. Penney in Corbin through the Swag Sisters shopping spree.
Barman noted that next year, the group plans to combine its shoe giveaway, and the back to school shopping spree.
“Last year we noticed at J.C. Penney when they did the back to school clothing drive that the kids, who got shoes that day didn’t get a lot of clothes,” Barman said.
School family resource centers select all the children for B Squad giveaways.