Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Church of the Redeemer members build beds for children in need

The initiative was part of the church's Serve on Saturday project series.

8-year-old Claire Bragg sands a piece of wood.
8-year-old Claire Bragg sands a piece of wood.
Photo by Ian Swaby
  • Sarasota
  • Neighbors
  • Share

As 11-year-old Adela Saladino added colorful letters to a wooden board, her thoughts were on more than just the words in front of her.

“A tiny thing that we’re doing is helping a lot of kids,” she said.

At Church of the Redeemer on May 6, members young and old turned out to sand, decorate and assemble wooden beds, for the benefit of children entering foster care as well as families who need beds to for their children at home.

One of Saladino’s favorite parts, she said, was painting the pieces of wood, which she found meaningful because she could write Bible verses on them for the kids to read, though she also enjoyed sanding the wood.

Seven-year-old Amos Saladino and Beth Bobb add artwork to the wood.
Photo by Ian Swaby

Volunteer Jason Kubisiak, who led the assembly of the 20 beds, said the intergenerational event was useful not only for meeting lots of other church members, but also because it gave children and adults the chance to work together.

“Most of the kids I don’t think had ever used a sander or a drill,” he said.

The event saw a turnout of 45 individuals, said Youth Minister Jackie Overton, a number that was higher than expected and resulted in the materials being ready quicklyand loaded onto a truck for transportation to the Azinger Family Compassion Center, a donation and distribution center in Palmetto.

Claire Bragg, eight years old, said she enjoyed learning how to drill, which meant starting it slowly before pressing down much harder.

“It was really fun,” she said. “The best part was drilling.”

The project was part of the church's Serve on Saturday events, which the church's youth ministry established in summer of 2022.

Although Hurricane Ian somewhat interfered with plans, Overton said, past events have included packing seeds for sustainable farming efforts in Haiti with Hope Seeds, hurricane clean-up days in Punta Gorda and Pine Island with Church of the Good Shepherd and St. John’s Episcopal Church in St. James City, and a breakfast with Santa for families identified by the Safe Children Coalition.

When the church received news, through an app called CarePortal it uses to remain connected with community needs, that beds were one of the major needs in the area, Overton decided to act on the information. 

Joe Silva, Jennifer White, Ben Strom and 14-year-old Morgan Silva
Photo by Ian Swaby

The project was made easier by the fact that Kubisiak was able to obtain lumber from Kimal Lumber and Hardware, where his brother-in-law Mike Orlikowski works. 

Kubisiak, who brings experience in design as the owner of Start to Finish Drafting, said he started with a generic design, modifying it to make it easier for kids to work with. Two weeks ago, he began cutting and preparing the wood in his spacious garage before transporting it to the church.

Overton said the finishing touch of the art and Bible verses on the beds allowed participants to write prayers, or wellnesses, or reminders to the children that they are loved.

The 20 beds will complement 20 mattresses already delivered to the Azinger Family Compassion Center by the retailer Malouf.

Member Linda Leparulo said it was heartwarming to see the young children and the adults working together. 

"I feel so blessed to belong to Church of the Redeemer, because we’re not just preaching the Gospel, we’re doing the Gospel,” she said. “It’s just an example, and there are lots of other examples as well.”



Ian Swaby

Ian Swaby is the Sarasota neighbors writer for the Observer. Ian is a Florida State University graduate of Editing, Writing, and Media and previously worked in the publishing industry in the Cayman Islands.

Latest News