Unfortunately, many needy Erie County families don’t experience the daily luxury, since donated bedtime materials are often in short supply.
Britain Bennett, 14, a Perkins High School freshman, believes every child should experience sweet dreams each night.
All this week, Britain has been collecting new pillows and new and gently used pajamas and blankets for her “Sweet Dreams” program, which benefits local children and teens.
She gathers the items every spring and fall and donates them to Care and Share, where the nonprofit organization distributes them. Other gently used household items are also accepted.
Want to donate?
Contact Britian Bennett at 419-202-4349, and she and her family will pick up your donated items this week and deliver them to Care and Share.
Donors are encouraged to contact the family before Saturday, but donations may be accepted after the deadline.
Britain founded “Sweet Dreams” in 2011, after learning Care and Share desperately needed the bedtime materials. In fact, because they’re in such high demand, the organization can only provide a family with one pillow each year.
Many individuals also can’t make it to Care and Share to deliver donations, often because of the organization’s limited hours or a lack of transportation.
“When I first came up with the idea, I was afraid it wouldn’t catch on, or I wouldn’t receive that many donations,” Britain recalled. “That’s not the case at all. It’s definitely been the opposite.”
“Sweet Dreams” has since attracted national attention, with Britain earning an Excellence in Service and Leadership Award from global youth service movement GenerationOn in February.
She’s also received thousands of donated items.
Britain’s new goal is for the movement to someday catch on statewide or nationally, with many individuals contributing to the cause in their local communities.
“I think it’s something everyone can relate to,” she said. “Think of what you do and need before you go to sleep. Imagine if you didn’t have those things, something as simple as a pillow.”
Care and Share made Britain an auxiliary executive board member this summer, with the goal of having her increase theorganization’s relationships with local youth. She now attends the board’s quarterly meetings.
“We’re very thankful she’s doing this project,” said Anita Stotz, board president. “We always have a need for bedding and linens because we’re always running out, so it’s a very nice program she’s created to help us.”