Founder, Jill Schwarzkopf, discusses the origins of Sleep Tight Kids and how it has grown over the past decade.
I had the honor of sitting down with Jill Schwarzkopf, a woman dedicated to helping the children of Western North Carolina, to discuss the humble beginnings of Sleep Tight Kids and how what started as a literal dream grew into what it is today: an organization that helps thousands of children in need in our community.
It truly started with a dream. Jill was working as a Kindergarten teacher at Mills River Elementary School in Henderson County, NC in 2008. A lot of children in her classroom complained to her that they were cold at night. She collected blankets for them and funds to restore heat in homes for those kids in her classroom. One night, she had a vivid dream where she was running a non-profit to help needy children and when she woke up, she decided to take immediate action and make that a reality. That first year, Sleep Tight Kids gave away around 75 comfort items and blankets to children.
SLEEP TIGHT KIDS TODAY:
Sleep Tight Kids has continued to grow since its origins in 2008 and in 2018, ten years later, over 10,000 comfort bags were given to children in need! They have also expanded from serving only Henderson County to now serving the entirety of Western North Carolina. Serving an area this large does require a lot of help from members of the community, businesses and volunteers. “We are an 100% volunteer-based network and all the money that gets donated goes directly to helping the children,” Jill explains. Sleep Tight Kids works with other local charities and government organizations to better serve the children of their community including DSS from Madison, Yancy, Henderson, Transylvania, Jackson, Buncombe, McDowell, Haywood, Rutherford, and Iredell Counties, Eblen Charity, Eliada Homes, Helpmate, Western NC Rescue Missions, ABCCM, Steadfast House, Caring from Children, Boys and Girls Club, Safelight of Hendersonville and more.
WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP:
- Volunteer to help with one of our bag stuffing events (including our kids helping kids events)
- Join our Circle of Hope and get notifications about meetings and events, next meeting is Tuesday, May 14 from 6:30-8:00 p.m. at Asheville Racquet Club SOUTH location
- Help with our largest fundraising event, Denim and Diamonds (scheduled for Saturday Nov. 16, 2019)
- Donate Here
- Have your business become a Sleep Tight Kids Ambassador
- Become a sponsor for an upcoming Sleep Tight Kids event
- Have a Sleep Tight Kids representative speak to your company/organization about our mission
- Host a Sleep Tight Kids cash donation box for a month or more (great for employee lounges, check-out areas, meeting places)
- Donate a % of business proceeds on a designated date/time frame.
- View upcoming events here