Blog | Sleep Tight Kids Blog

Everyone has been making adjustments to their lives recently due to stay-at-home orders in light of the global covid-19 pandemic. Sleep Tight Kids has adjusted their normal operations and put a halt to comfort bag stuffing events, in-person fundraisers, and deliveries for the time being. Instead, we are focusing on shipping directly to the organizations we normally provide for and asking them what their needs currently are.

We know that even though we can’t carry on as usual, the needs of the children we support not only live on but have likely grown in recent months.

Many local organizations and charities have wish lists on Amazon Smile and this is a great way to get items directly to those in need. We have been using our funds to order things off of wish lists recently and encourage our supporters to check out local wish lists as well if you’re able.

We have been checking in with the organizations that we normally provide for and addressing any needs that they currently have, shipping items to them directly. If you are an organization that has needs that aren’t being addressed, please reach out to us by contacting deliveries@sleeptightkids.org we would love to help you and the children you support.

Our ambassadors are also finding new and innovative ways to raise funds during this time, including Carrie Myers of Inspired Change Yoga who is hosting virtual yoga to benefit Sleep Tight Kids. This Sunday, May 3 at noon, she is hosting an hour long online yoga class and the fee is only $10 (all of which goes to helping children in need). You can purchase tickets at the link below.

Thank you to all our supporters for continuing to keep the children in Western North Carolina in your hearts and minds during this time. To donate directly to Sleep Tight Kids, click here. We are a 100% volunteer-based organization so all of the money you donate goes directly to the children that need it.

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Amidst the chaos of the corona virus, ashevillians got out of the house, hand sanitizer at the ready, and supported local businesses. Below, Maisie of Maisie Twenty (an adorable kids boutique downstairs from Hazel Twenty) serves as the mascot for the store and watches people as they pass by. I imagine she’s a big help in getting people to want to walk in this door. photos by Sarah Whitmeyer Photography

I know things are a little crazy right now and it’s hard to know what to do, but supporting our neighbors/local business owners in the community is oh so important. We thank Lexi Diyeso, owner of Hazel Twenty and Maisie Twenty, for donating a portion of her sales to the children of western NC for our Shop For a Cause event yesterday. AB Publow Designs (image below) was also there, selling jewelry and donating a portion of her profits to Sleep Tight Kids.

If you’re sick, by all means, stay at home. But if you’re feeling well and you want to get out and help the community, put some money into your local businesses directly by shopping for a cause. Just bring your hand sanitizer! Maisie will be here to greet you!
Maisie of Maisie Twenty

Sick and don’t want to leave the house? You can shop online and support this local business at https://shophazeltwenty.com

Again, Sleep Tight Kids thanks Lexi Diyeso, owner of Hazel Twenty and Maisie Twenty, for donating a portion of proceeds to help the children of Western North Carolina feel safe and loved.

If you own a local business and you’d like to host a similar event,

email info@sleeptightkids.org or events@sleeptightkids.org

Check out other ways to donate or volunteer or help our cause

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This afternoon, Sleep Tight Kids board members and Ambassadors gathered at Crown Plaza Asheville for the annual Ambassador Luncheon. Jill, STK founder, spoke about the growth of Sleep Tight Kids in the past year, noting that there were twice as many ambassadors to thank this year than last year!

2020 Ambassadors include the following local businesses, community members and organizations:

Jill, Founder of Sleep Tight Kids, thanks Ambassadors for their support

For information about how you or your business can become involved in helping the children of Western North Carolina, email info@sleeptightkids.org

You can also check out our previous blog post on how to become an ambassador here.

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The Little Gym is already a huge supporter of Sleep Tight Kids, donating all the bags for our comfort bags that go to children in need in Western North Carolina. This past Friday, they also held a fundraiser Daddy-Daughter dance at their location in Gerber Village in South Asheville. It was such a sweet event to witness! These dads showered their baby girls with love! Thank you so much, Little Gym for all you do. Here are some photos from the dance courtesy of Sarah Whitmeyer Photography.

For more information about how you or your business can help the children of Western North Carolina, contact info@sleeptightkids.org

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Recently, this adorable downtown Asheville boutique held an event to raise money for Sleep Tight Kids. The only thing better than shopping local is shopping local for a cause! Thank you to owner, Anna Grace, for graciously donating a portion of your proceeds to help the children of Western North Carolina. Photos by Sarah Whitmeyer

Owner Anna K. Grace (left) with employee, Katharine Coulman (right)

If you own a business and want to learn more about how to host a similar event (or if you’d like to donate or volunteer for our cause), please contact info@sleeptightkids.org

In addition to this event, Traveling Chic also donates year-round though their “skip the bag” campaign. Customers are offered the option to skip the bag and donate $1 to a local charity of their choice.

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We have been very busy raising money and putting that money to work for the children of Western North Carolina recently. Here are a few updates on what we have been up to lately:

Giving Tuesday was a HUGE success! We raised $26,000 in a single day with a big thanks to Dennis Hulsing of Hulsing Enterprises who matched donations up to $10,000

Wendy Knowles, left, with Sleep Tight Kids founder Jill Schwarzkopf, and Dennis Hulsing and his son, Kyle at our recent Copper Crown Fundraiser on January 6.

Thanks to Copper Crown Restaurant on Tunnel Rd. in Asheville for donating a portion of their profits for Dine out for a Cause to Sleep Tight Kids.

Photos taken by Jill Schwarzkopf, during the Dine Out for a Cause event recently.

As always, we have also been busy delivering comfort bags to those in need in our community. Just this week, a total of 140 Comfort Bags were delivered to Haywood County DSS, REACH in Waynesville, The Bair Foundation in Asheville and Eliada in Asheville.

As a reminder of why we do this work, here is a recent letter from DSS in Polk County to our founder, Jill, thanking her for all the foundation does to help children.

Please follow us on Facebook and Instagram for ways to help and volunteer.

https://www.facebook.com/SleepTightKids/

https://www.instagram.com/sleeptightkids/

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Volunteering for one of our bag stuffing events is one of the easiest ways to get involved with Sleep Tight Kids. Both you and your children will really enjoy putting comfort bags together for other children in our area.

We stuffed bags recently on September 19th and then delivered all over western North Carolina the following Monday. We are always looking for more volunteers: Contact volunteer@sleeptightkids.org for more info on how you and your family can get involved! Photos by Sarah Whitmeyer


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Local Businesses now have an easy way to become supporters of Sleep Tight Kids–Become an ambassador by following the steps below.

Recently, the following businesses have joined our ever-growing ambassador program: OP Taylors, Blossoms Creative, All State Agent Eric Morris, Classic Event Rental, Avante Beauty Lounge

Photos below from our last Ambassador Luncheon at the Wedge Brewery in Asheville:

Email info@sleeptightkids.org for more details on how to become an ambassador and start helping the children of Western North Carolina today.

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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.

THE BEGINNING:

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

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Lillian Johnson

Lillian Johnson enjoys jumping on a trampoline, playing the trombone, and competing in engineering challenges with her Destination Imagination team. But she’s also one of Sleep Tight Kids’ most dedicated volunteers.

“I’ve always loved hanging out with children, and it makes me sad that there are kids who can’t get something new,” she says.

The middle schooler was first drawn to Sleep Tight Kids as she began looking for her Mitzvah project, an undertaking made in preparation for a Bar/Bat Mitzvah, usually charitable in nature. Lillian knew she wanted her project to have to do with helping children, and her mother, Laurie, suggested Sleep Tight Kids. Lillian learned about the work the organization does, providing newly purchased items of comfort for children in need. “It seemed like a really good idea,” she says. “I wanted to help with that.”

Lillian began attending Circle of Hope meetings nearly a year ago. For the Eliada Home holiday gift-giving event last December she accompanied other volunteers to the Carter’s Outlet and picked out the pajamas that would be given away—“everything that was most adorable,” as she puts it.

The Eliada experience was particularly affecting. “These kids didn’t have happy backgrounds, and then they would get all this new stuff,” like stuffed animals, blankets, and dental kits, in addition to the pajamas. “They were all really happy—surprised, grateful. And it made me happy.”

Now Lillian is lending her talents and work ethic to the second annual Sleep Tight Kids summer fundraiser event, Carnival Day, set for August 13 from 2 to 5 p.m. at Highland Brewing Company. “Before we go to the meetings I try to think of cool stuff, like games, we could do with the fundraiser,” Lillian describes. “I attempted to get Dollywood season passes [for a raffle prize] when we had a field trip there.” (She wasn’t successful, but her initiative in making the ask is an experience she can build on.)

On Carnival Day itself, Lillian will man a lemonade stand that she and her father are building by hand, tapping into her structural engineering skills. In keeping with the big top style, snacks include Poppy Handcrafted Popcorn, and Asheville band The Business will strike a festive tone. Attendees can win raffle prizes from the likes of Spicer Greene Jewelers, the Little Gym, and Zaniac, and more.

At her Bat Mitzvah in June, Lillian spoke about what Sleep Tight Kids means for her. “Sadly, there are a lot of children who live in unstable environments and are suddenly removed from their homes. These kids have almost nothing and are very scared. When these kids are given their brand new pajamas and stuffed animal from Sleep Tight Kids, it gives them comfort and helps to make a bad situation a little better.”

 

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