COLORADO SPRINGS — Foster parents are sometimes notified just days in advance of a child's placement in their home. For some families, that leaves little time to prepare.
Families only have thirty days, after the child arrives, to get a bed for them before he or she is placed back into foster care.
"We got a call in the night like most foster parents do. You don't know what you are going to get, amount of kids, you have no idea what is going to happen," explains Paul Sandlin.
When Paul Sandlin and his wife were told their home would be the new placement for two brothers in foster care, they scrambled to find beds.
They were introduced to Love Your Neighbor, an organization in Colorado Springs that builds beds for foster children.
Since 2018, the organization that started with a major wind storm in 2017 has morphed into a team of volunteers building bunkbeds.
Each bed has a special brand written on one of the slats. "You are seen. You are known. You are loved."
"If these kids can lay down every night and think those three things are true, then we have done our part," Luke Wrobleski, director of Love Your Neighbor.
It's an affirmation Paul Sandlin and his wife say to their six kids every night before bed.
"It is so encouraging for kids to say 'my name is blank, I am loved, I am seen, I am smart, and I am special,'" said Sandlin.
Love Your Neighbor has built more than 450 beds in three years.
"One of my favorite deliveries ever was knocking on this door of this little girl, she actually ended up being in time out while we were there. She was in trouble and when we knocked on the door we just hear her yell bunk beds!" said Wrobleski.
The kids not only receive a bed, but also a mattress, and bedding. "It is such a powerful moment in this bigger story that is being written in their lives. Just stepping in this small moment and providing relief and love," said Wrobleski.
To one it might just be a bed, but to Sandlin's kids, it means so much more. "It is an area of safety. It is something they see as their castle or fortress, they love getting into it at night. It means so much to them," said Sandlin.
Providing a place of comfort for those when they need it most.
If you are interested in learning more about Love Your Neighbor, or if you would like to donate, click here.
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