The Little Things are BIG Things

You hear all the time the importance of not taking for granted what you have. Let me share a story about how the things you may consider to be little are very big to others.

A Marion County grandmother recently found her four bedroom doublewide mobile home overflowing when eight of her grandchildren came to live with her. As part of Kids Central’s prevention program, Kinship Care, Melissa Casto was working with the family to ensure their needs were met. Grandma asked for help with beds and dressers for some of the younger children. Melissa contacted the Kids Central Resource Center for help getting furniture into the home.

Kim Avera, Supervisor of Volunteer Services and Resource Center, drove to the home with two new beds and two new dressers that had been donated to the Kids Central Resource Center. When Kim entered the house, she was greeted by two, tiny, anxious girls. When the girls saw what Kim had, they asked, “Are those beds for us?”

“I’m not sure if they are for you, but they are for your family,” answered Kim.

The grandmother spoke up and told the girls that the beds were for them. Huge smiles spread across their faces, “We both get one! We get beds to ourselves!”

“Are those dressers for us?” they asked and the grandmother confirmed with a nod.

“A dresser just for me!” one exclaimed.

“And me!” the other squealed.

In their disbelief and excitement, the girls grabbed each other and began dancing around Kim laughing and singing.

Helping this family was only possible with the help of Castro Convertibles. These beds are ottomans which convert into regular-sized twin beds. Believe it or not, beds are a luxury to many families. The donation of beds allows Kids Central to keep siblings together in foster care and to keep kinship children off the ground or couch. We are currently in need of toddler, double, and queen beds. Contact Kim Avera at to help.

Photo by Uli Seit for The New York Times. Bernadette Castro with her new product line of Castro Convertibles, at her house in Lloyd Harbor, N.Y. Ms. Castro was the childhood star in T.V. commercials for her father’s sofa-bed company.

Over 14,000 children being raised by grandparents in our five county area and over 300,000 children in Florida. Due to substance abuse, mental health issues, abandonment and other crippling issues, many parents can’t care for their children and lean on grandparents to take over. Kids Central offers a complimentary program to kinship providers to prevent these children from entering foster care. If you or someone you know is caring for a relative child in Citrus, Hernando, Lake, Marion or Sumter Counties, feel free to contact Tawnya Drent at 352-387-3406.