Mattresses and Bedding
When all you have is what you could carry out of your home country, a mattress does not qualify as a feasible item. Additionally, when you’re struggling to keep food on the table for yourself and your family in Venezuela, buying a mattress tends to fall low on the priority list. Even once a mattress is acquired, getting it off the floor seems like a luxury, so most refugees with a bed have it directly on the floor. While these all reflect a reasonable thought process, an overlooked harsh reality remains that sleeping on the floor (especially in housing options available to refugees) leaves a person at high risk for attracting fleas. Sadly, a flea infestation is a common experience for the average refugee in Cuenca. That brings with it a wealth of health concerns, not to mention the loss of sleep that occurs from frequent and itchy bites. Mr. Hernandez was a lawyer in Venezuela and the first grantee placed in our program Refugee to Neighbor. One day we asked him how his life was going. He pulled up his shirt to reveal thousands of flea bites and said with a big smile on his face and an upbeat demeanor, “Oh, it’s terrible.”
GRACE can quickly solve this issue by elevating a mattress off of the floor. Knowing this, we collect mattresses, bed frames, and bedding and redistribute them free of charge where they are most needed.
Photo of the baby in huge bed from Curt and Scott