Mattress Firm has announced that it will donate $50,000 to teens aging out of the foster care system through its partnership with the Ticket to Dream Foundation. As part of the $50,000 donation, Mattress Firm asked nonprofit foster care partners to nominate deserving former foster youth to receive home makeovers through its “Home Is Where the Start Is” initiative. The company reviewed countless submissions from across the country and selected two families to receive complete home makeovers.
After learning that the Pippins family of Fort Worth, Texas had lost everything in a fire, Mattress Firm surprised them with a home makeover including new mattresses, furniture, appliances and home décor, just in time for the holidays. Mattress Firm also made over and refurnished the apartment of a former foster child in Phoenix named Madalyn, who recently lost her 3-month-old child due to heart complications and wanted to refresh her space to create room for happier memories. Also, the company is donating $1,000 each to 10 additional nominees to assist with furnishing their homes, including household items, décor and groceries.
“Ticket to Dream is thrilled to work with Mattress Firm to create a fresh start for youth that have aged out of foster care. The struggles foster youth face when aging out are staggering. Homelessness, unemployment and feelings of inadequacy run rampant,” said Gina Davis, president and executive director of Ticket to Dream. “With Mattress Firm’s donation, we are making over the apartments of two former foster youth and their children so they can feel more at home. We’re also helping 10 aged-out foster youth purchase $1,000 in apartment essentials. We’re overjoyed to bring these gifts of hope to youth who have seen too many hardships.”
The remaining funds will be distributed to Ticket to Dream Foundation’s Take Flight Program, which focuses on empowering foster youth for the future. The donation will help with three categories of support within the Take Flight Program: housing/emergency support, graduation/college support programs and life/job skills training programs. The Take Flight Program supports youth through grants that boost access to transitional housing, assistance in school and training programs to help them succeed. Mattress Firm Foster Kids is a program of the Ticket to Dream Foundation.
Mattress Firm believes that a good night’s sleep can help foster kids, and all kids, be successful. Through Mattress Firm Foster Kids, the company aims to bring a better night’s sleep to the youth who need it most through bed donations and annual in-store donation drives collecting pajamas, bedtime books and bedtime toys in communities nationwide. With the help of Ticket to Dream, Mattress Firm partners with nonprofit foster care organizations across the country to ensure donations stay in the communities in which they were gifted.
“Everyone deserves a place to lay their head at night,” said Sunni Goodman, VP of communications and customer experience at Mattress Firm and a Ticket to Dream board member. “Transitioning from teenage years to adulthood can be tough. For former foster youth, it can be even more difficult because they aren’t always given the tools they need to succeed. By helping them create a space that feels like home and encourages restorative rest and relaxation, we hope that it fuels future success.”
To learn more about Mattress Firm Foster Kids and how to get involved, visit www.mattressfirmfosterkids.org.