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Communities that KARE: 40 Winks Foundation

The foundation helps families get peace of mind by giving children a place to comfortably rest their heads.

OAKDALE, Minnesota — As the Dalai Lama famously said, "Sleep is the best meditation."

However, if you don't have a bed, it can be hard to focus at all.

In fact, doctors say children in particular need a good night's rest for mental and physical development.

That's why the 40 Winks Foundation exists.

"Our mission is to give beds and change lives," said Lisa Olson, the Community Engagement Manager for Slumberland Furniture.

Slumberland started the foundation three decades ago, first by providing free children's beds during the holidays.

This past December, the Homes for the Holidays program gave out 2,500 beds across 12 states. 

"We want to get to the children that do not have a bed, that are sleeping on the floor," explained Olson.

Over the years, it became apparent that the need for beds had to be addressed year round.

The 40 Winks Foundation works with 501c3 organizations, nonprofits and now police departments to find families who really need help.

"They're in the homes, they know the needs and so we've started a relationship with them," said Olson.

The 40 Winks Foundation works with the Red Cross to assist fire victims, but the biggest need recently is from domestic violence victims who flee with nothing.

The foundation provides a mattress, box spring and bed frame. Typically, it's a twin size. However, if there is a circumstance where a bigger bed is needed, the foundation will deliver a full size. They also do bunk beds on occasion if there are multiple children in a tight space.

The initiative is all about getting children off the ground to lift up families in need.

One particular story sticks with Olson. "We were taking a bed to a little boy. And as the guys who were taking the bed up the stairs, between every step, the little boy was grabbing the driver's leg and hugging him. He was so excited," she recalled.

Every dollar that goes to the 40 Winks Foundation is pumped straight into the production of the beds. Slumberland's founders, the Larson family, covers all of the other fees. 

Learn more about the 40 Winks Foundation here