Looking back on my childhood, I find that my life was sculpted by extracurricular activities. I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t involved with an activity, whether it was playing the piano, taking dance lessons or running on the track team. The activities I did outside of school are some of my favorite childhood memories and are the experiences that truly allowed me to become who I am today!
Few things teach a child more about collaboration, motivation, self-expression and hard work than extracurricular activities, whether it’s joining a sports team, taking lessons in the arts or attending camps and field trips. There is also a direct correlation between extracurricular activities and increased self-esteem and improved behavior at home and school. Mattress Firm knows that giving children hours of extracurricular opportunities allows for them to develop into independent young men and women… and, just as importantly, to make friends and have fun.
Far too many foster children struggle with issues associated with academics, behavior and identity. Extracurricular activities can help combat these issues, but unfortunately for tens of thousands of foster children, these opportunities aren’t within reach financially. This is where Mattress Firm wants to help!
Mattress Firm Foster Kids Dollar Drive
Mattress Firm wants to provide funding for foster children to experience these valuable extracurricular activities. Now through April 22, Mattress Firm is collecting monetary donations to help provide foster kids in your community the opportunity to join the football team, sign up for an art class or attend summer camp.
Personally, the Dollar Drive is one of my favorite drives because of the messages we receive from foster parents and nonprofit partners about just how valuable these funds are. We’ve learned that there are summer camps dedicated to reuniting siblings who have been separated. Just imagine, two siblings arriving at camp on separate buses and the elation they feel when they find each other in the sea of other children once they arrive. For many siblings, this is one of the only times they will get to bond with each other, create lifelong memories and have a carefree good time.
With your help, Mattress Firm can make moments like these happen for foster children around the country. Stop by a Mattress Firm location near you or simply donate online. No amount is too small and all proceeds will go directly to foster children in your community.
Upcoming Drives for Foster Kids
At Mattress Firm, we value our customers and communities, and we are committed to helping foster children. In addition to the Dollar Drive, Mattress Firm Foster Kids will host several other drives for essential items like new clothing, shoes and school supplies. Donations are collected through the Ticket to Dream Foundation, a 501(c)3 organization, and after each of the six annual donation drives, proceeds stay in the community where donated and are distributed to carefully chosen local nonprofit foster care partners.
Not everyone can be a foster parent, but anyone can help a foster child. To get involved with Mattress Firm Foster Kids, donate online or learn more about hosting your own donation drive for foster children in your community, visit www.mattressfirmfosterkids.org.
About The Author
As director of community relations for Mattress Firm, Mauri Knowles channels her passion for helping others by connecting Mattress Firm employees with opportunities to make an impact on their communities and partnering with local non-profit organizations. Mauri joined the Mattress Firm family of brands in 2004, and since then she has helped us donate more than 2 million essential items and $5 million to foster children in need.
She also serves as vice president of the Ticket to Dream Foundation, which supports the Mattress Firm Foster Kids program and raises funds and awareness for pancreatic cancer. Mauri says that one of her proudest moments of her career was helping launch the foundation in 2008.
A California native and proud alumna of California State University, Sacramento, Mauri loves staycations with her family to the beach and nearby lakes. And, whether for work or for pleasure, she throws a good party; from themed dinner parties for family and friends to our annual golf tournament and fundraiser – if Mauri is in charge you know you’ll have a good time.
Best Night’s Sleep: Mauri sleeps happy at home on her Beautyrest mattress on a moveable base after a day spent helping others; and she typically wakes up the next morning having spent the night dreaming it’s possible to do even more.