The Youngstown Stake Relief Society has provided more than 70 bags of bedding to the Mercer County-based nonprofit Beds for Little Heads.
The society is the women’s organization for the Youngstown Stake of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which has seven congregations throughout western Pennsylvania and eastern Ohio, including one in New Castle.
The bags of bedding, which contained a handmade quilt, sheets, pillow, a stuffed toy and a book, were donated to Beds for Little Heads, which provides beds and bedding to children in Pennsylvania and Ohio. The organization has helped nearly 500 children since Donna and Brett Schroyer founded the organization.
“This is the largest donation we’ve received of this kind,” said Brett Schroyer.
Barbara Federkeil of New Castle, president of the women’s group, said the church women also donated other items in addition to the completed bags.
“We were searching for an organization to serve,” Federkeil said. “The Relief Society was created to serve, uplift and to search out those in need and help them. I knew that Beds for Little Heads was a good organization and could use our service.”
Federkeil said the relief society leaders asked each women’s group in the seven congregations of the stake to create 10 bedding bags. All the items could be purchased, except for the blankets or quilts, which were to be made through a group effort. Many of the cloth bags that held each set of bedding were sewn by teens this summer during girls camp week.
“Our purpose in doing this project was to build friendships with the sisters. We have such busy lives. It’s nice to spend time together learning something new, laughing and enjoying one another’s company,” said Federkeil. “This project hopefully provided that opportunity. And also we were able to bless the lives of many children.”
Jonathan Wagley, a Boy Scout who attends the LDS Church in Alliance, has also taken Beds for Little Heads as his Eagle Scout project. Wagley said he has collected enough money to purchase at least 20 mattresses. He and some helpers are also picking up used bed frames and getting them ready for delivery later this month.
“A lot of times it’s heart-wrenching when you go into these homes, some of the living conditions,” said Brett Schroyer. “You just want to pick these kids up and take them home.”
“We do pray over these children when we go in,” Donna Schroyer added. “They are so excited to have something of their very own.”