HIDDEN HERO: A Place to Sleep

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- WDRB's Hidden Hero for September is a Shelbyville family who set out to help their community, one bed at a time.

Jessica Collins was just 10 when she learned some of her classmates didn't have a bed to sleep in at night. 

"We talked to the family resource center at the elementary school I went to and they gave us a family that needed help and that year for Christmas we gave them a bed," Collins said.

That was four years and 251 beds ago.

Jessica and her grandmother started the organization A Place to Sleep. Now they're making a delivery to 12-year-old Amber McClease.

McClease has been sleeping on an air mattress or with her Mom. Her mom, Teresa, works two jobs and is struggling to make ends meet. 

"Being a single mom you have so many directions, and working and trying to take care of other people."

"Divorces -- one parent will run off with all the furniture. It's hard to believe but there's all kinds of reasons why kids don't have a bed of their own to sleep in," said Lynn Whittaker. 

The local school district has taken note of how children change in the classroom once they're given a bed. 

"They're able to stay awake in class, their grades have improved, their self esteem has improved," said Whittaker.

"I've seen people that were grateful for things, but they were truly grateful," Collins said.

WDRB's Hidden Heroes award recipients also receive $500, courtesy of Becker Law Office and that will help them to provide more beds for more families. 

"There are 23 children on our list on our waiting list, Amber was one of the children on our waiting list. We were out of beds. We were out of money. We prayed and God sent us you," Whittaker said.

A Place to Sleep is located at 629 Main Street in Shelbyville, Ky. You can reach them at (502) 321-7116 or at mjlw22@shelbybb.net.

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