Today we again welcomed Roseville Rotarian Mary Jo McGuire to our meeting.
Cindy Carlson introduced our speaker, Meg Hobday, from My Very Own Bed.  My Very Own Bed (MVOB) is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing brand new beds and bedding for children, aged 2-17, of families that have recently secured stable housing.  Children having their own bed would seem like a given, but many families who don’t have stable housing also don’t have beds for their children.  In addition to the obvious sleep difficulties experienced by children without beds, many of these children also have social, emotional and educational problems which are, at least in part, related to the lack of a comfortable, safe place to sleep.  Better sleep has been shown to improve school attendance and performance, increase attention and promote emotional stability.  Kids also benefit from a sense of personal dignity and independence and are more likely to have friends visit if they have their own bed.  Clearly, a bed is much more than just a place to sleep. 
While working with homeless families for many years, MVOB founder Michael Allen was keenly aware of the need for beds and decided to do something about this problem.  In 2014, Michael started MVOB to provide proper beds for these kids.  The organization was founded on these values:
    -Relationships first
    -Get better before getting bigger
    -Focus on excellence
Each qualifying child receives a bed, box spring and frame, but also receives a “Dream Kit” with a brand-new pillow, mattress pad, bedding and blanket as well as a stuffed animal, books and a handmade card.  Over the past six years MVOB has steadily grown from providing 120 beds in 2015 to 667 beds in 2019.  They will easily exceed their goal of 750 beds this year.  Michael is cautious; however, that growth is sustainable and doesn’t interfere with excellence.  Each bed and Dream Kit combination costs $200 to provide, so contributions are vital to MVOB’s mission.  The Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation has agreed to match contributions of any amount up to a total match of $10,000.  Contributions to this matching program are just shy of $8,000 as of today, so there’s still a little time to effectively double your contribution.  Our Board voted this morning to donate $400.  You can donate by clicking here.
Check out this morning’s email from President Dennis Connolly for a list of upcoming Rotary events.
Cindy Carlson reported that members have so far contributed approximately $900 toward our Rotary Foundation goal of $2,000.  She reminded us that right now donations over $100 by individual NBMV Rotarians will receive double Foundation Recognition Points, speeding you on your way to the next Paul Harris Fellow recognition level.  Just send your checks, made out to the Rotary Foundation, to:
    MBMV Rotary
    C/o John Ordway
    3555 Willow Lake Blvd
    Suite 200
    Vadnais Hgts.,  MN 55110
Geoff Hollimon reported that the Suburban Ramsey Emergency Coalition has received eight preliminary grant proposals and one final grant application.  The Covid 19 Resposnse Fund has so far received $38,000 of its goal of $150,000 in contributions.  Your contributions are needed reach that goal.  Personal and organizational donations of any amount may be made by check payable to the Suburban Ramsey Covid-19 Response Fund and mailed to:
       Suburban Ramsey Covid-19
       Response Fund
       C/o Carol Brown-Mills
       5845 St. Albans Court
       Shoreview, MN 55126
Carol is a board member of Shoreview Community Foundation and she’ll forward them to The St. Paul and Minnesota Foundation each day. You will still get your tax receipt from the St. Paul and Minnesota Foundation with tax ID # 41-6031510.
Online contributions of any amount can be made at at this URL:
The Coalition’s Facebook page can be accessed by clicking here.
The No-Plate Dinner fundraiser continues to evolve.  You may have received Cindy Carlson’s email with the latest thoughts on the planned substitute for the Gold Plate dinner.  If not, click here to download it.
Treasurer John Ordway reported that the cancellation of the Good Plate Dinner Fundraiser (if that income is not replaced) would increase the already budgeted 2019-2020 deficit from $7,000 to a deficit of $13,500.  This deficit will be offset by No-Plate dinner donations.