Robinson Gardens Youth Group
Bunk beds make one SHA family happy
No more overcrowded bedroom for Katherine and Karmanie Lendron.
Thanks to Bunk Bed World of West Springfield, the sisters now have beds that are compact, opening up space for furniture and other important items in their room in a Springfield Housing Authority’s Manilla Apartments in the Pine Point section of the city.
The bunk bed donation came from company President George Lucas, thanks to a connection with the Robinson Gardens Apartments Youth Group. Lucas is friends with local businessman Santino Tomassini, a supporter of and frequent donor to the Youth Group and its leader, Jimmie Mitchell.
For Katherine and Karmanie, who recently moved out of Robinson Gardens but remain active in the Youth Group, the new beds are a dream come true. Before the new furniture, they shared a double bed.
“We’ll have a lot more space in our room, and a lot more privacy,” said Katherine, who is 15 and soon to be a sophomore at Springfield Conservatory of the Arts, a magnet school in the city. A talented singer, she is also interested in all things artistic and is flourishing at the school.
The grateful Katherine added this: “I’d like to thank Bunk Bed World for giving us this opportunity, and SHA and our Youth Group Coordinator Mr. Mitchell.”
Her younger sister agreed wholeheartedly.
“It’s going to be fun,” said Karmanie, who is 12 and will get the top bunk. She will be a seventh grader at the Alfred G. Zanetti Montessori Magnet School. “I know I’m going to like it.”
Lucas said he was happy to help the Lendron sisters out when he heard that their bed needed replacing, and was taking up the bulk of the space in their bedroom.
“I’m happy to do it,” said Lucas, giving credit to his pal Tomassini for the suggestion.
“I’m always willing to help people who have children and who find it difficult making ends meet. This is a nice family, it’s easy to see that,” Lucas added.
Lucas’ donation included all components – beds, mattresses and drawers. The set was delivered right to their apartment.
SHA Director of Resident Services Pamela Wells said the generosity of Lucas has given the entire Youth Group pause to be thankful for the kindnesses of others.
“This is a great collaboration, and we appreciate the efforts of Mr. Lucas and Mr. Tomassini. They’re friends of the Robinson Gardens Youth Group,” Wells said.
Mitchell runs the group, which meets daily with teens at Robinson Gardens, and has a focus on education and jobs. This summer, all of his eligible members have jobs, helping them to earn and save money for future endeavors.
“I’m very excited about Mr. Lucas from Bunk Bed World helping out this family,” Mitchell said. “I hope this will inspire others to see what we’re doing, and to help us in any way that they can.”
Perhaps most grateful is Carmen Pantojas, the mother of Katherine and Karmanie.
“My girls are very happy, and so am I,” Pantojas said.
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