Boys staying at the Bald Ridge Lodge will rest a little easier thanks to the community.
On Thursday, 15 new sets of mattresses and box springs donated by the community were delivered to the lodge. Fred’s Beds donated five of the sets and sold the others at a reduced cost. Other individuals and businesses also got involved with the project.
“The beds are here today for all the boys,” said Heidi Snarey, executive director of the Bald Ridge Lodge. “We’re really excited. It’s going to be a great addition for the new year. Not only did we get the bedding, but some … new bedspreads [donated from American Honda] for all the boys, so we’re really starting the year out great.”
The program serves at-risk boys ages 12-21 with counseling, mentoring, community support and other positive activities. Some in the program are in the custody of the Department of Family and Children Services or referred by the Forsyth County Juvenile Court.
In December, the lodge let the community know they were searching for new beds for boys in the program. It took about two days for the community to step up and fill the need.
“I love it because that shows that people will come together for a good cause,” said Mike Becker, owner of Fred’s Beds. “They called me a day later and said, ‘hey, thanks for letting us know we can get mattresses. We’ve got the money.’ So, they were ready to go pretty quick.”
Snarey said the mattresses weren’t what they were expecting and were actually a step up from what they’d thought they were getting.
“The beds were ordered, and we have twin beds right now, but we have regular twin beds,” she said during the delivery. “When [the new beds] came in, they were extra-long, and [Becker] thought they may be too long, but we thought it was a blessing in disguise because when you’re talking teenage boys, they grow really fast.”
Becker said the beds are the same as those used by the Forsyth County Fire Department.
“It’s a nice, high-end, double-sided firm mattress,” he said. “These mattresses will last forever for these guys.”
Five Star Painting in Cumming decided to paint nine bathrooms at the lodge last week to go along with the new beds.
“Five Star Painting came in and repainted all the bathrooms for the boys,” Snarey said. “So we just got a facelift for the new year, and we’re excited for this new year to start for the boys and the programming to help them out where we can.”
Along with a fresh look, the project let boys at the lodge learn some valuable skills.
“They just donated everything,” Snarey said. “… we did a little life skill. We helped tape off the bathrooms for them, so the kids kind of learned how to do that. The next day, they brought all the paint and all the materials, and they did it all, so we’re very, very appreciative for that.”