More Than a Bed

Rindy Charllis

Imagine getting a call at 4:00 p.m. – your grandchildren or grandnephews have been removed from their home.

The Department of Child Safety caseworker wants to know if you can take them. If no, they will need to go to the DCS intake shelter. What do you do? Who can you call for help?

This scenario is all too real. In Tucson there are over 4000 children that have been removed from their own homes and either placed in a licensed foster home or with a willing family member. There are over 1800 additional children in Pinal County. The kinship placement family member takes in the children with very little funding from the state.

Enter More Than a Bed, a non-profit organization established in September 2014. MTaB’s mission is to support foster families and the children in their homes by providing for their practical needs. MTaB receives over 30 new requests from new foster/kinship families each month. MTaB supplies beds, cribs, baby equipment, toys, backpacks, school supplies, pajamas, diapers and clothing. To date MTaB has provided 200 beds, 160 cribs and thousands of pieces of clothing.

MTaB operates exclusively with private donations and volunteer efforts. No one draws a salary. For the first 32 months MTaB operated out of garages and storage facilities. Then land and funds for a 5000 square foot metal warehouse were donated and MTaB now has an official home, located at 3637 N. First Avenue. Future goals include tutoring services and practical training for youth in a Young Adult Program.

How can you get involved? Volunteers are needed on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays to sort clothes and toy donations. Volunteers are needed for pick-up and delivery of large items. Donations of diapers, children’s furniture, baby equipment and clothing are accepted.

MTaB accepts cash donations and qualifies as a foster care charitable organization (QFCO) with state tax credits for Arizona residents which can be made for the tax year 2017 until April 2018. Additionally you can register for Fry’s Community Rewards Program and Amazon Smile and a percentage of your purchases are donated by the companies to MTaB.

For more information visit their website at morethanabed.org or email the Director at Grace@morethanabed.org. You can make a difference!