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Talk/Read/Succeed!

A welcome gift from Bunk Bed World

A welcome gift from Bunk Bed World

Octavia Jones had a problem: The twin beds her young daughters slept in were rickety, tattered, and too large for the bedroom they share at Springfield Housing Authority’s Robinson Gardens Apartments.

The 29-year-old mother of three also couldn’t afford new furniture, with her earnings from her job not leaving much to spare at the end of each month.

And so she turned to Talk/Read/Succeed’s outreach coordinator Lynne Cimino for help. Cimino, in turn, went to SHA Youth Coordinator Jimmie Mitchell, who reached out to Bunk Bed World of West Springfield, which saved the day.

Thanks to a gift of bunk beds by company President George Lucas, the girls, ages 9 and 6, now have a brand new set of bunk beds in their bedroom at the family development in the Pine section of the city.

Jones, Cimino and Mitchell, along with SHA Resident Services Director Pamela Wells, paid a visit recently to Bunk Bed world to thank the generous benefactor in person. When she looked at the connected beds her daughters would soon be getting, she broke out in a smile.

“I’m so grateful,” Jones said. “I just can’t believe it. My daughters are so excited. This is going to make all the difference to us.”

SHA Youth Engagement Coordinator Jimmie Mitchell, Bunk Bed World President George Lucas, Robinson Gardens Apartments resident Octavia Jones, Talk/Read/Succeed! Outreach Coordinator Lynne Cimino and SHA Resident Services Director Pamela Wells at Bunk Bed World.

Lucas, who began his career building bunk beds for family and friends three decades ago, is a frequent giver who has a heart to help out those in need. In 2015, he gave a set of bunk beds to another Robinson Gardens family.

“I love doing things for people who need that,” Lucas said. “It just makes me feel good. A lot of people out there struggle, and if I can do this one thing for someone to make things better, well I’m in.”

Lucas found a connection to Robinson Gardens through his friendship with Santino Tomassini, a frequent benefactor at the development who has been known to enrich family holiday  meals, provide student backpacks and supplies, and more.

Wells said the gift from Lucas is much appreciated by the Jones family as well as the SHA.

“This is a gift from the heart, and something that will make such a big difference for Octavia Jones and her children,” Wells said. “We thank Mr. Lucas for his generosity and kindness. It’s people like him who truly help people who need it.”

Bunk Bed World President George Lucas and Robinson Gardens Apartments resident Octavia Jones check out the beds he is giving to her family.

Talk/Read/Succeed is SHA’s family-based literacy program, in place at Robinson Gardents, Duggan and Sullivan Apartments.

Mitchell and Cimino, who work with families at Robinson Gardens to improve literacy, education, job skills and more, also extended their gratitude.

“This is just so great,” Mitchell said. “Unbelievable. The word is out about the good things we do with our youth and our families, and the community responds. It doesn’t get any better than that.

Cimino added, “Any time we can help to make a positive difference in someone’s life, we’re glad for it. This is such good news.”

The bunk beds retail for $1,200, making the gift even more meaningful for Jones.

“I never expected anything so generous as this,” Jones said. “I’m doing the best that I can as a mother. I try so hard. I live day to day and I’m always working towards what’s best for muy children. I never realized there people who cared this much.”

SHA Youth Engagement Coordinator Jimmie Mitchell and Bunk Bed World President George Lucas.

34 days ago / Talk/Read/Succeed!
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