SOURCE: Sleep Country USA

September 25, 2006 11:00 ET

In Their Words: Foster Families Express Gratitude for Generosity of Sleep Country USA's Foster Kids Initiative

Sleep Country USA Shares Foster Children and Family Response to Gifts Donated by the Community Through the Company's Yearlong Foster Kids Drives

SEATTLE, WA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- September 25, 2006 -- Sleep Country USA, the Northwest's largest seller of premium mattresses, recognized today the tremendous success of its Sleep Country Foster Kids initiative. In just two years, the company added two new events to its existing seven donation drives -- raising more than $40,000, receiving more than 55,000 items and enabling more than 400 foster children and their families to enjoy a free day of fun at Wild Waves and Enchanted Village.

Sleep Country USA has partnered with sixteen area foster care organizations, including Bethany Christian Services, Foster Family Care Network, Families for Kids, Trillium Family Services, and Treehouse, to help positively impact the lives of foster children and their families. "For kids who are dealing with a lot of big emotions, gifts like this mean so much!" said Bonnie Wilder, foster parent at Bethany Christian Services. "It means that someone is purposefully trying to brighten their day."

According to Trillium recruiter, David Swendseid, "Many foster children come from indescribable deprivation and are taken into care with literally no clothing. The Sleep Country drives are amazing, and the response from children touching." One such example is Anna, age seven, who entered foster care from a neglectful, drug impacted setting that left her with unimaginable emotional scars. One Monday, Anna, a petite, attractive child with soft eyes and a quiet demeanor, excitedly awaited her monthly visit with her foster care consultant. When the knock came, Anna's face lit up with glee. However, this visit began differently: Separating Anna and her consultant were two small boxes. Her eyes opened larger as she asked, "Are these mine?" Anna opened the box and took out a brand new shirt and pair of pants. She ran into the family room, turning in circles as she held the clothing against her body. "Are they are really mine?" she asked. "They are so cute!"

Since its inception, the Sleep Country USA Foster Kids giving initiative has collected nearly 10,000 items of new clothing and shoes for area foster children. "We decided two years ago that a focused charitable effort would enable us to make a more significant impact on the community," said Terry Horsley, executive vice president of marketing and merchandising, Sleep Country USA. "The enthusiasm from the community and support we've received from our foster care recipients has been integral to this success. As we expand this program with events like the Sleep Country Foster Kids Pajama Bowl and Foster Kids Day of Play at Wildwaves & Enchanted Village, this participation will continue to be very important."

There are more than 23,000 foster children today in the Pacific Northwest. At times, these children are taken from their homes with only the clothes on their back, creating an important need for key material items. Kayleen, age 13, comments on getting new clothes, "I actually don't have to wear one of the same things in the same week." Ashley, age 8, adds, "The clothes I get help me look better at school, and not like a rag."

Foster parents also benefit from the yearlong Sleep Country Foster Kids drives. Carolyn, a single foster mom of three infants, remarks on her experience at Treehouse Wearhouse, where she can obtain new and gently used clothing and shoes for her children. "The Wearhouse saves me money, time, energy -- it's a one-stop shop!"

Sleep Country knows that, while not everyone can be a foster parent, anyone can help a foster child. "Every time people hear the Sleep Country advertisements for foster children, it plants a seed that maybe they can make a difference in a child's life who is in foster care," said Alison Burke, foster parent with Bethany Christian Services.

About Sleep Country USA

Sleep Country USA is the No. 1 mattress seller in the Northwestern United States, with more than 50 retail stores throughout Washington and Oregon. The company was founded in 1991 and features top-quality brand-name mattresses and premium adjustable beds, futons, and wood and metal accent beds. An industry visionary, Sleep Country USA strives to help every customer "choose well to live well." The company is active in its communities, hosting ongoing events that benefit the areas more than 23,000 foster children. For more information about Sleep Country USA or Sleep Country Foster Kids, please visit www.sleepcountry.com.

Contact Information

  • Media Contacts:
    Revolution PR for Sleep Country USA
    Jennifer Karkar Ritchie
    (206) 932-2454
    Email Contact

    or

    Rebecca Haas
    (503) 236-0377
    Email Contact