Afghan refugees are fleeing to the U.S. in large numbers, and two North Carolina military wives are working together to provide whatever donations they can to welcome these refugees.
Hearing their call, Sweet Dreams Mattresses & More and the Dreams4All Foundation stepped up to provide mattresses, box springs, bed frames, sheets, pillow, and mattress protectors to these displaced people.
“When I heard about the need, I said immediately that I was in,” says Keith Moneymaker, CEO of Sweet Dreams. “They’re coming here leaving everything behind, and obviously they need a place to sleep. I didn’t know what they needed or how much, but the cost is irrelevant when it comes to doing good.”
Moneymaker says there are 70,000-80,000 refugees coming to all parts of the U.S., and that he’s already donated three new and two sanitized twin mattresses to the cause for families with bunk beds.
“Beds should be the first thing going in someone’s house, and they aren’t cheap,” he says. “Mattress retailers are throwing mattresses into landfills every day.”
That, and mattress retailers not knowing how to give back to their communities, are two problems Moneymaker is aiming to help them solve with his Dreams4All Affiliate program.
Any mattresses that are sent back from a 30-day comfort return, or used mattresses others are willing to donate, get sanitized and donated to charities in Sweet Dreams’ local area. And Moneymaker is working on growing the charity into a scalable model that other retailers around the country can take advantage of.
“We’re building out a playbook so we work with other mattress stores that just don’t know how to get involved in their local communities,” he explains. “I’ve been dealing with used beds for more than five years and I can show retailers how to reuse them and get them out to the community. If we can do this with a bunch of retailers all over the U.S., I can call up affiliate stores and be able to get them to help whenever a need arises, like our refugee crisis or a Hurricane in Louisiana.”
Moneymaker says he’s talked to countless retailers who throw old mattresses in landfills, and that he wants to make it easy for them to invest back in their communities.
“It costs money to sanitize the beds and store them, but if you can see the long-term goal of it as doing it for the greater good, your leadership will grow and employees will want to be part of it, and you can’t put a price on that. People want to be a part of something good now, they want to shop local. Dealers are afraid to do stuff because it will cost them money or they’re worried about the details.”
Finally, Moneymaker has some advice for fellow mattress retailers.
“If you’re operating in a community with Mattress Firm, Ashley, and Mattress Warehouse, what are you doing to set yourself apart?” he asks. “What sets you apart is what you do for your local community. This is just an opportunity to set yourself apart. Save one or two mattresses a week and find somewhere to give them—foster homes, homeless shelters, evacuation centers, or a military base.”
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