Tuesday, September 27, 2011

I believe in Sweet Sleep. And I'm a bedhead.

Ashley Hamm and her husband, Clay.

Today, there are many organizations that are doing great things -- with countless opportunities to serve, volunteer, give, and participate in life-changing movements. The endless availability of these foundations that offer and implement much-needed change around the world is amazing, but choosing the right place for your contributions is a difficult decision.

My heart was broken when I first heard the story of Sweet Sleep several years ago. Sweet Sleep, started by a sweet family friend, takes care of our future leaders, teachers, parents, innovators, and world-changers by providing a soft place for orphans around the world to lay their heads at night -- to rest their minds and bodies.

A few months ago, while complaining about the discomfort of my 8-inch-thick, pillow-top mattress, I began looking into the price of a much-coveted and absurdly expensive memory foam mattress. I hear they are amazing. However, around the same time, my sister (and friend) was on a mission trip with Sweet Sleep to Gulu, Uganda. Doing the math, I realized that the price of the mattress that would allow me to jump on my bed without spilling a glass of water, could provide over 30 orphaned children in Africa a bed, a mosquito net, bedding, and a mattress. Enter humility.

I didn't need a fancy mattress to help me sleep better after all. Peace of mind has worked just as well. I am a bedhead because it helps me fall asleep knowing that I am contributing to the comfort of someone on the other side of the world, who is also trying to sleep sweetly. I am a bedhead because I know that when life is hard, a sweet sleep is a great escape; a sweet sleep means a fresh start -- a rested mind, heart, and soul. I am a bedhead because I believe in this organization, its mission, its purpose and its integrity. I believe in Jen Gash and her hard work. I believe Sweet Sleep is fighting to ensure that thousands of abandoned and orphaned children have the opportunity to wake each morning with strength. And I believe in the future of these children.

Sweet Sleep is doing amazing things. Just $30 a month can make a great impact. That’s a dollar a day saving thousands of lives; preventing hundreds of illnesses; and allowing millions of sweet dreams.

If you are able, join me in becoming a bedhead and helping orphaned and abandoned children around the world sleep sweelty. Just go to www.sweetsleep.org/donate and make your gift of $30 a month or more.

You'll even get a cozy Sweet Sleep tee for signing up.

Ashley Hamm is an entrepreneur who lives on Okaloosa Island in the panhandle of Florida with her husband Clay, who currently serves in the U.S. Air Force. Ashley recently graduated with an International Business degree and now hopes to share her passion about global issues through her writing and lifestyle.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Why I'm a Sweet Sleep bedhead...

Something Sweet Sleep has down to an art is the mission trip. I have been so fortunate to have been a member on several trips with Sweet Sleep over the past two years. With each trip comes a flurry of fundraising as goals are set and beds are provided. What my involvement with Sweet Sleep over these years has also shown me is that flurry of activity is not reserved exclusively for trips.

In 2010, Sweet Sleep provided over 10,000 beds to orphaned and abandoned children in Moldova, Haiti, and Kampala and Gulu, Uganda. Many are unaware that Sweet Sleep continues to work, tirelessly, to provide safe places for children to pray, dream, and sleep. These beds are given with love, education, and the word that God loves the children.

I am good about making gifts at the time of a trip or at year’s end, but what happens through the rest of the year? I became a bedhead in order to ensure the sustained capabilities of Sweet Sleep on an ongoing basis. Having a community of supporters who have committed to give even a small amount on a monthly basis allows Sweet Sleep to budget and plan for ongoing bed placements.

What’s more is that each month when the gift is automatically drafted, we are reminded and reassured that our commitment is serving, protecting, and showing God’s love to a child worlds away.

I would like for you to prayerfully consider how you can be a part of Sweet Sleep’s bedhead program. What can you sacrifice in a month; a night out to dinner, a manicure? With a monthly commitment of $30 or more you, too, will be a bedhead! Don’t forget to mention your shirt size in the comments box so they can send you one of my favorite Sweet Sleep t-shirts!

Giving is simple! Just go to www.sweetsleep.org and indicate that your gift is a monthly gift by clicking the appropriate circle.

I am excited for all God is doing in and through Sweet Sleep! Please consider how He is calling YOU to be involved!

Madelene Metcalf, Nashville, Tennessee

Friday, September 09, 2011

Why I'm a bedhead...

A few years ago, I became familiar with Sweet Sleep at a conference. I never had thought about how children were sleeping. It just broke my heart to think children, especially orphaned and abandoned children, were sleeping in such terrible conditions.

As a preschool minister at my church, I suggested that we give our VBS offering to Sweet Sleep last year - participating in their Build-A-Bed program. Our kids loved it!

Later, our staff was challenged to read "Radical" by David Platt. After reading it, I saw that Sweet Sleep was going to Gulu, Uganda and I felt that I should step out and go. I am so thankful that I was able to join the work of Sweet Sleep. I saw first hand the children that got new Sweet Sleep beds. Seeing how excited they were for a bed was an amazing experience. I even had the privilege of going to a home and setting up their new beds and nets. The children said they could not wait for bed time to come. I don't know many children who are excited about bed time here at home.

After returning from Uganda I wanted to do more. Becoming a bedhead is a simple way to help each month. Every penny counts and helps children sleep sweetly.

Click here to join Alyson and become a bedhead!

Alyson Walker is currently serving as Minister to Families with Preschoolers at South Tulsa Baptist Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She has led Sweet Sleep's Build-A-Bed and Nickels for Nets Projects in her church, is serving as a Sweet Sleep Regional Rep for her state and is looking forward to going to Cape Town South Africa with Sweet Sleep this November.