A local organization is working to help kids in need in the Piedmont and High Country.
A Book and A Bed provides underprivileged children in the Triad and North Wilkesboro with a place to sleep and something to read. The program is expanding its services to reach more families.
The need is real. Over the past three years the nonprofit has distributed 400 beds — three books per bed — and the waiting list in Forsyth County alone currently stands at 42.
The organization was founded in 2019 by Anneliese Wall, previously a victim services coordinator for the state of North Carolina. She says she and her volunteers encounter a variety of sleeping arrangements for children: pallets made of towels or blankets; a leaky air mattress shared by several siblings; and often, a pile of clothing on the floor.
“These children are sleeping on their own clothes just to have something soft to lay on, and then they’ll get up the next day and go to school and pull a wrinkled shirt out of that pile of clothes and wear it to school,” says Wall. “And there’s been situations where some of these children were bullied because the classmate sitting beside them that was making fun of them did not realize that the reason their shirt and clothes were wrinkled was because that’s their bed.”
Any child sleeping on a couch, floor or makeshift bed qualifies for the program. Portable cribs are provided for expectant mothers who lack a safe sleeping space for their infant or newborn.
Wall says A Bed and A Book will begin servicing Boone and surrounding counties in the next few months.