West Side News

'Bed Brigade' is a ministry with a mission

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CHRIS PARKER/THISWEEKNEWS
(From left) Brad Wahl, Tyler Lewis and Jeff Lewis load bed frames into a car to be delivered to a client Saturday morning, Feb. 1. The group volunteers with the Bed Brigade, a service ministry of St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church, that builds and donates beds to people in need.
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To Jeff Stenerson, the Bed Brigade is about more than beds.

"It's an opportunity to get into people's homes and let them know they are loved," he said. "It's something that really seems to tug at the hearts of people."

The Bed Brigade is a service ministry that operates out of St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church at 3220 Columbus St. in Grove City, though the idea originated from another group in Circleville. The group builds and delivers beds free of charge to people in the Columbus area.

"The goal is to provide people in need with beds," said Stenerson, who is director of the Grove City Bed Brigade. "We're willing to reach out and give them beds."

Whether the beds are for families who sleep on the floor or on filthy, old mattresses, the need is great, Stenerson said.

"A bed is something that a lot of times ends up being forgotten ... when (people) are struggling financially," he said.

Katie Kapustka, who sets up deliveries for the Bed Brigade, said the deliveries are a good way to talk to children in need.

"A lot of them have been sleeping on the floor, and some don't even have blankets," Kapustka said. "You think about people needing food or clothes ... (but) I never realized how many are in need of beds."

Since the St. John's Bed Brigade formed in late 2012, the group has donated about 300 beds to people need. However, the Bed Brigade has a waiting list of 100 people.

"It's hard for us to tell people (they have to wait)," Stenerson said.

The need, Kapustka said, is continuous.

"There are people calling every week," she said.

This year, the Bed Brigade's goal is to build and donate 400 beds in the Columbus area.

"It's not limited to our congregation," Stenerson said. "This is larger than just our church."

"It's not just downtown Columbus," said Doug Grossman, owner of Spare Space Self Storage. "It's everywhere."

Each bed costs $70, half of which goes to the construction of the bed itself and the other half goes to sheets, mattresses, blankets and bedding. For its goal of 400 beds, the Bed Brigade needs to raise $28,000.

The beds are constructed at Spare Space Self Storage. The design of the beds, Grossman said, came from the Bed Brigade of Circleville. The beds, Grossman said, are designed to be simple and easy to move around.

"In a couple of hours, we can make 10 or 15," he said.

Stenerson said the design is simple and strong.

Grossman said the St. John's group meets regularly on Saturdays to build the beds.

"It's not really hard to find people who want to get involved," Grossman said. "It's a good fellowship happening."

For more information about the Bed Brigade, contact the church at 614-875-2314 or Stenerson at 614-256-6293. For information about donations, visit stjohnsgc.org.

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