Catching some z’s shouldn’t be a luxury. But for some kids, the proper furniture and bedding are simply out of reach. During his work in the social services sector, Michael Allen noticed this community need and set to work establishing My Very Own Bed, a nonprofit that has been operating since 2014.
A good night’s sleep is especially critical to children as they’re developing. My Very Own Bed looks to provide beds to children across the Twin Cities area moving into stable housing, and this year the Rotary Club of Edina is helping out.
The Rotary Club of Edina is part of a global network of professionals who are interested in volunteering their time to both local and international causes. Throughout the course of the year, the club raises money through events, such as the annual fall gala, with funds distributed by the Edina Rotary Foundation through grants of varying amounts.
Although the charitable aspect of the club subsumes a large portion of its activities, social and networking events, such as weekly meetings, also play a large role. Over the course of a year, the Rotary Club of Edina invites speakers from a wide range of backgrounds to speak at these weekly meetings. To thank them, the club president chooses a charity to donate to in their names.
“Michael Stanzak, the president, chose to honor the weekly speakers at our meetings by making a contribution in their honor to My Very Own Bed,” says Katy Campbell, the public image director of the Rotary Club of Edina. “It’s people donating their time [to us], so for our speakers, it’s nice to have this charity gift ... given [in their honor].”
Stanzak was elected as club president in July 2021 and will serve until July 2022. Over that time, the club will donate $2,500 to My Very Own Bed through the speaker gift program, accounting for just one of many local nonprofits that the club helps to support.
Stanzak says he hopes to raise upward of $100,000 over the course of his term to then be given out as grants. While many of these recipients are Edina nonprofits, Stanzak notes that there’s an international element to the club as well.
In 2021, several Rotarians, along with Stanzak, traveled to Guatemala in support of an ongoing international grant project to provide clean water to the Escuintla National Hospital. This service trip, which takes place every two years, supports the club’s goal to advance understanding, peace and goodwill throughout the world.
Over $30,000 in grants were awarded to these local and national nonprofits last year:
Aces, Assistance League of Minneapolis, Cornerstone, Edina Fire Department, Gilda’s Club Twin Cities, Help at Your Door, Hope Academy, JSC Affective Sober Living, Mad Dads, My Very Own Bed, Oasis for Youth, Open Arms of Minnesota, Pillsbury United Communities, TreeHouse and Voices for Racial Justice.
Rotary Club of Edina; edinarotary.org
Rotary Club of Edina @edinarotary
My Very Own Bed; myveryownbed.org
My Very Own Bed @myveryownbed