YMCA ensures local children have ‘A Place to Dream’

Published: Oct. 18, 2022 at 7:27 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - The pandemic put a lot of things on hold, not just for businesses and families, but for non-profits too.

One of those programs was A Place to Dream through the Family Y, which provides beds to children in need.

Before the pandemic, they were installing about 30 to 40 beds a month for kids in our area. Kids went from sleeping on the floor or couches or sharing a twin mattress with their siblings to a comfortable space of their own.

They’ve started the program back up, but they can only provide beds on an emergency basis. And there’s a waitlist.

We went along for delivery to see what difference this program can make for families and how you can help kids here at home have ‘A Place to Dream.’

Falisha Favero is a single mom to four kids. Her youngest just got out of the hospital.

Favero received beds through A Place to Dream.

“I just had a new a new baby. His name is Uziah. He’s about to be three weeks old on Saturday. He has spina bifida,” she said.

To say the pandemic, inflation, and now caring for a special needs child have been hard for Favero would be an understatement.

She’s grateful to have a roof over their heads and food in their mouths. But there isn’t a lot beyond that.

“I wasn’t able to provide a good bed for them being a single mom. It’s definitely rough out there,” she said.

When her landlord told her to apply for beds through A Place to Dream. She did and got a call two days later that gave her some hope.

“Excited. I cried. I’m excited for my children to have some good beds,” said Favero.

A team of volunteers from the Family Y brought three beds and a crib, paid for out of the pockets of complete strangers, wanting nothing in return but a chance for her family to have the chance to dream.

District Vice President, Family YMCA of Greater Augusta James Thomas said: “We’ve got a waitlist currently. We’re really just trying to raise the funds and get the volunteers that can help us get these beds out to these kids who need them.”

In our area alone, since 2017, the Family Y has donated nearly 1,400 beds. And the applications for help haven’t stopped. They’ve only stacked up during the pandemic.

“We truly feel like it’s a huge need for a child to have a bed because I don’t know how we can expect them to get up every morning, go to school, learn, and without having a proper, safe, comfortable place to go to sleep and dream every night,” said Thomas.

Now that her children have a place to dream, Favero has a dream of her own.

“To make sure that my kids are successful in life and to make sure and I hope and dream that my son will be able to walk when he gets older,” she said.

With a safe place to sleep, he’s one step closer to that first step.

If you would like to help, you can volunteer to put beds together, give financially, and spread the word that the program is available. For more information, visit A Place to Dream.