Levin Furniture, others donate 125 beds to needy kids in Westmoreland County
With one donation, the waiting list for beds for abused and neglected children in Westmoreland County has been eliminated.
On Wednesday, 125 beds were delivered to the Kris Feliciani State Farm Insurance office in Youngwood, where they will await delivery in the coming weeks to clients of the Westmoreland County Children's Bureau.
The beds — mattresses, box springs, frames and mattress covers — were provided by Levin Furniture, in cooperation with their suppliers, Mantua Manufacturing Co. of Walton Hills, Ohio, and Tempur Sealy International Inc. of Medina, Ohio.
“Levin's played a huge role in it, but it was truly a group event. So many people helped,” said Kris Feliciani, a member of the Westmoreland Children First advisory board.
Feliciani is part of a special committee of Westmoreland Children First tasked with finding good beds for children served by the Children's Bureau.
“Some of these children have never had a bed to sleep in that was their bed,” she said. “The social workers have identified that these children do not have beds, so they make a list of beds they know are needed and we work hard to fill that need as best we can.”
She contacted Anthony Gavatorta, a Levin's bedding buyer, and told him she had a budget of just over $6,000. “I asked if he could give us the beds at cost,” she said. “He said, ‘Let me see what I can do.' ”
Gavatorta contacted his suppliers. Mantua donated the bed frames, and Tempur Sealy and Levin's shared the cost of the mattresses and box springs, he said.
The advisory board is covering the costs of delivery, which will be handled by Christian Layman Corps of Greensburg in the coming weeks.
Feliciani could barely contain her excitement on Wednesday morning, when a Sealy tractor-trailer filled with mattresses and box springs pulled up to her Youngwood insurance office.
Helping with the unloading were Levin's, Sealy and State Farm employees, Saint Vincent College students, and representatives from the Children's Bureau and the advisory board.
“Our community is pulling together to get this done,” Feliciani said. “There's a lot of goodness in our world today.”
The donation will take care of the current waiting list for beds in Westmoreland County, said Michelle Brant, foster care unit supervisor.
Many children served by the Children's Bureau either sleep on the floor or couch, or share a bed with someone else, she said. Often, the bedding is of poor quality, dirty or infected with bedbugs.
“To have a safe, clean place for kids to sleep is very important to our program,” Brant said.
Stephen Huba is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-850-1280.