Local Ministry to Host Pop-Up Market to Raise Funds for Bed Donations
A Tuscaloosa furniture ministry will host the first annual Oak City Market on August 28 to raise money to buy new beds for families in need.
SD Allen Ministries was founded in 2013 by Jeff Hurn. The ministry's main mission is to deliver beds to those in the community who need them.
"We believe that every child in our community deserves a bed to sleep on," said Hurn.
Hurn says that a bed serves an individual in four aspects: physically, mentally, for self-value and financially.
"There's kind of four different ways that that that a bed serves an individual one being physically," Hurn said. "If you're sleeping in a bed every night, it's better for you [because] you're not sleeping on a hard floor. Then from a mental aspect, let's say you're a 10-year-old and you go to school at Matthews Elementary School, and you don't have a bed to sleep in. So guess what, even though maybe your friends are having sleepovers, and you can't invite someone else to spend the night with you at your house because maybe you are experiencing furniture poverty, and you don't even have a bed for yourself. Then you think of a kind of self-value aspect of it. If you're a single mom, let's say you've got three kids, and your kids don't have beds to sleep in, and you don't have a bed to sleep in. How does that make you feel as a mother? But if you come home one day, and we've set up beds for all your kids, and you've got a bed to sleep in, and you've got a couch, like think about how much better does that mom feels about herself in her situation. And then the last thing it does for low-income families is if you think about how much a bed costs if you're going to a furniture store to buy a twin bed, it's going to cost you probably $500 for a frame and mattress and box spring and bedding. Well, what we're doing is we're providing that to you for free. It helps offset furniture costs for low-income families so that that money can be reallocated to other things."
In addition to beds, SD Allen also provides families with other furniture if they have it.
"[Beds are] the main necessity," said Hurn. "People can go without other furniture items, but we really think that just something as simple as a bed to sleep in can really help and if we have other things, we give those to families as well. We really want someone to be able to have a sofa. We want somebody to have a dining table because you can't invite anybody over for Thanksgiving at your house if you don't have a table to sit down."
SD Allen also has a bunk bed and wheelchair program in which they build bunk beds and wheelchair ramps for those individuals that need them.
While in past years, the ministry has primarily operated using used furniture donations and will continue to do so, SD Allen also wants to start providing families with more new beds.
"It's not more important than someone else's good-quality used mattress," said Hurn." "But we want to play a role in the betterment of their day-to-day life, and sometimes, if we show up with a used mattress that may not be in the best shape that someone slept on for eight years, even though it's not stained, it's not dirty, showing up with a new mattress says, 'you know what, I value you as an individual. And I believe you deserve something new and nice.' So that plays more into the mental aspect of low income."
The Oak City Market event, which will take place in the north parking lot of Calvary Baptist Church from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., will feature local food trucks, businesses, and individuals in the community.
Hurn said the event can be classified as a "pop-up market" with many different types of vendors and organizations running booths.
"We want there to be something there for a wide variety of different people," said Hurn. "It's for the community; it's for small businesses; it's for anybody that wants to get out and about and enjoy a Saturday for something to do."
There will also be a raffle at the event with prizes such as a boat, watercolor painting, gift cards to local stores or restaurants, and more. Hurn also says there may be a silent auction as well, but that is still in the works.
Those interested in booking a spot should email Jeff Hurn at email@example.com.
All the proceeds for the event will go to buying more new beds for the ministry to donate to families in need.