It's a simple thing - being able to sleep in your own bed after a long day. But it's a luxury that many central Ohio children have to go without, says Marysville carpenter and general contractor Rob Ramey. One at a time, Ramey and others are working to give children a place to rest their heads.

It's a simple thing - being able to sleep in your own bed after a long day. But it's a luxury that many central Ohio children have to go without, says Marysville carpenter and general contractor Rob Ramey. One at a time, Ramey and others are working to give children a place to rest their heads.

Three years ago Ramey, who has a background in church planning, became involved with Transformation Zone, a week-long mission camp hosted at Marysville First United Methodist Church. It fosters community service in youth through building and outreach projects.

"The whole focus, basically geared in a camp setting, is on service projects," Ramey said. "A priest from St. Sophia's in Columbus was there, and said there was a need for beds in their area, so we started up a project, and in that first year, the kids made 20 beds."

Ramey said that after seeing the energy the young children threw into the project, he and a friend from Circleville decided to start making beds on their own for children in need.

"This whole last year, I've had to park the car outside because the garage was always full of about 40 mattresses," Ramey laughed. "Now we're working with the Circle of Light Church in Circleville; they have some space where they allow us to store materials. Reverend Ginny Teitt (of Concord Presbyterian Church) is allowing us to build beds in her barn here in Marysville, as well."

Over the past three years, Ramey estimates that he and others have manufactured about 60 or more beds. Those come complete with bed frame, mattress, mattress cover and sheets. The majority of them have gone to meet needs in Franklin County and Circleville, however; only two have gone to Union County residents. Ramey said there is a need in the county, and he would love to be able to help more locally.

"I'd say there is a lot of need in Union County, but the marketing and networking, getting in touch with the right people, that's not really my strong point," he said. "I've actually had two people stop by my house who had found out through word-of-mouth, and we were able to supply them with beds."

Ramey said he hopes to eventually take a different approach toward supplying beds and shelter for others. You can have a more lasting impact by teaching a man to fish, rather than simply feeding him, he said. To that end, Ramey is now working with nonprofit organization Shelter Available for Everyone (SAFE), whose mission is to provide shelter as a means of eradicating suffering and supporting the community.

"The vision is to show people how easy this is, and to then be a resource center for others trying to do the same thing," Ramey said.

Recent natural disasters in Haiti have also opened up a need for that sort of focus, Ramey added. In April, SAFE is holding a Homes for Haiti 5K run, the proceeds of which will be used for materials and labor in building durable homes for Haitian earthquake survivors.

"Right now what we're going to do is go ahead and keep building beds, buying materials as we have the funds, and keep going from there as the need arises," Ramey said. "As far as contributors on the financial end, that's something we're still looking for."

More information on SAFE, along with Ramey's blog, can be found online at www.everyone-safe.org.