Donations go to foster children who are reunifying or placed unexpectedly with a resource family.
RIVERSIDE COUNTY — Global furniture giant Ashley HomeStore is continuing to bring new beds and the hope for new beginnings to Riverside County foster children and families in crisis.
Since last December, the Colton-based Ashley HomeStore has donated more than 100 new twin mattresses, frames, and bedding to the Department of Public Social Services (DPSS). The brand-new bed sets go directly to foster children in the county who are reuniting with their birth parents or being placed with a foster family or relative.
Oftentimes, the beds are needed at a moment’s notice.
“A bed for each child is an essential requirement for placement. We are so grateful to Ashley HomeStore for providing children with an important needed element of comfort and stability,” said Charity Douglas, assistant director of Children’s Services at DPSS. “We also are grateful for the Faith in Motion program for spearheading this effort and establishing this partnership with Ashley.”
Faith in Motion, a collaborative of faith communities dedicated to helping children and their families, is a DPSS program that supports and recruits foster parents throughout Riverside County.
Ashley’s nonprofit foundation, Hope to Dream, believes every child deserves a bed to call their own. For every mattress purchased at a participating Ashley HomeStore, a portion of the proceeds goes toward donating a bed to a child in need.
Over the past decade, Hope to Dream has provided new beds to more than 110,000 children in need across the country.
“We strive to make a positive difference for children by giving them a place to rest and dream about a bright future,” said Veronica Ornelas, director of operations at the Ashley Furniture HomeStore in Colton. “A great night’s sleep is essential for our children to lead healthier lives.”
The Faith in Motion program coordinates the deliveries and stores the furniture once it arrives. Then, DPSS social workers request the beds for foster children or youth on their caseloads.
“We are here to serve those most in need,” said Otis Coutsoumpos, associate pastor of community engagement at La Sierra University Church in Riverside, who helped unload 30 twin bed sets from Ashley at their La Sierra warehouse that arrived this summer. “We are glad to be here to help provide a new beginning.”
One DPSS social worker recently transported three sets for a Riverside County family of seven that was reunifying.
“Both parents were extremely grateful to receive these donations from Ashley,” social worker Natalie Mendez said, adding that the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted many families on her caseload who were already struggling economically. “A bed is not cheap. You have no idea how essential they are for our families.”
Anyone interested in fostering in Riverside County is invited to learn more by calling 1-800-665-KIDS (5437).
DPSS has served Riverside County since 1923, when the department’s first two employees began serving local needs. Today, the department has more than 4,000 employees and serves one million residents a year in the tenth most populous county in the country.
Photo caption above: Otis Coutsoumpos, associate pastor of community engagement at La Sierra University Church in Riverside, helps unload 30 twin bed mattress sets from Ashley Furniture to give to foster children in need on July 6.
- Otis Coutsoumpos: Riverside County