Three years ago, Karen Ward of FTC Canada was visiting the community of Mishkeegogamang when she noticed children roaming about after midnight. Puzzled by the sight of these little night owls, she asked around -- and discovered that they were waiting for their turn to use a bed. The housing shortage is so severe that the children of Mish must sleep in shifts.

Karen thought about what she might do to help, and asked Chief Connie Gray-McKay, with whom she has developed a warm friendship, whether bunk beds might be one solution. (The long-term solution, of course, is adequate housing. But in the mean time, entire childhoods are going by, and "children who can't sleep, can't study well," as Karen points out.)

Chief Connie thought it was a great idea, so Karen and her colleagues at FTC Canada researched the possibilities, and ultimately raised enough funds to buy 100 pine bunk beds from IKEA. They took fifty up to Mish this December and assembled them. (We don’t have to tell you how baffling and time-consuming it can be to assemble IKEA furniture, so kudos to Karen and her four volunteers!)

Another fifty are slated to arrive in Sandy Lake when FTC Canada ships donations this March.

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