Houston Furniture Bank’s Inaugural No Kids On The Floor Breakfast Raises $40,000
In Houston, no child will sleep on the floor! This was the commitment made by over 200 guests of Houston Furniture Bank’s “No Kids On The Floor” Breakfast on Wednesday, October 30th at the Junior League of Houston, the first fundraising event in support of the No Kids On The Floor Initiative since its launch in May.
Expectations were surpassed as guests donated over $40,000.00 in support of the No Kids on the Floor initiative! Thanks to the generosity of the Houston community, Houston Furniture Bank will be providing a good night’s rest to children in need. The No Kids on the Floor Initiative was developed to provide complete mattress sets – including a mattress, a box spring and a bed frame – to local children who do not currently have a bed to sleep on, ensuring that all children have a bed to lay their heads on at night in Houston.
Guests at the “No Kids on the Floor” Breakfast were treated to remarks by speakers knowledgeable on the issues affecting children in Houston. Sylvia Muzquiz, M.D., Medical Director for Children’s Services at The Harris Center for Mental Health and IDD, talked about the power of fulfilling a child’s basic needs, allowing them to focus on the challenges they face in their daily lives.
Ana Hardaway, Chief Program Officer at Children at Risk spoke movingly about the effects of “toxic stress” on children living in poverty. “Something as simple as providing a safe place to sleep, a safe place to go, a place when everything else is stressing a child out, they can lay their head – it’s theirs, they can call it theirs, they can go there every night, it’s so important, it’s not to be taken lightly.” she said.
Tom McCasland, Director of Housing and Community Development for the City of Houston, spoke of a need to address the “question of equity” and the important work of ensuring that all the children in Houston have access to a bed, an education and opportunities. McCasland invited guests to look deeper into the causes of inequality, reminding us that even housing is not a given for the children in our city and that intergenerational poverty continues to be a challenge to be addressed.
Erika Wise, Director of Extended Services at the Star of Hope, provided the perspective of the caseworkers that connect Houston Furniture Bank to families in need. Wise recalled one particular family that had benefited from the program, remembering the way their eyes lit up when their new beds and furniture were delivered to their home. “They had an apartment, furniture, and each other… …they were finally home,” she said.
Houston Furniture Bank Board Chairman, Hal Lynde, invited guests to become a part of “Team No Kids on the Floor.” “There’s over 300,000 kids who slept on the floor last night – not just last night, but every night,” he said. Indeed, one in every six Houstonians is living below the federal poverty threshold, struggling to meet basic needs. Guests were provided with a report produced by Children at Risk, “Growing Up In Houston,” detailing many of the challenges faced by the children in our community.
Houston Furniture Bank provides essential furniture to families in need through a network of partner social service agencies. To date, the No Kids on the Floor initiative has given away $30,000 in new mattresses to children in need. Thanks to the success of the No Kids on the Floor Breakfast, over 250 new, quality mattress sets will be given away, providing a good night’s rest and a sense of security to the children growing up in our city.
The No Kids on the Floor Breakfast was generously sponsored by Texas Mattress Makers. Guests included leaders in the shelter, manufacturing, and interior design industries as well as government, community and social leaders. Large donors to the program include Texas Mattress Makers, Landmark Furniture, and Building New Foundations.