Innovative partnerships enable Family Promise to offer unique opportunities to families in its program. For example, collaborating with Hoboken, NJ-based Avocado Green Mattress, many families across the country receive high-quality organic mattresses when they move from shelter into housing.

At Family Promise Union County (FPUC) in Elizabeth, NJ, one young volunteer has taken this opportunity to the next level to help families receiving Avocado mattresses sleep even better on their new beds.

Jack Osmond of Boy Scout Troop #56 in Millington was searching for an Eagle Scout project when he learned about Family Promise. He was struck by the organization’s mission and wanted to help. Upon learning the donated mattresses came without any supporting structure, Jack coordinated the building of custom bed frames for FPUC families.

The bed frames had to meet specific criteria. Avocado mattresses have unique dimensions. Also, the frames had to be designed to be easily assembled by one person and light enough to transport and store. Jack consulted contractors, experienced handymen, and other scouts for his design. The frames are a neutral color that blends in with any décor and are slightly elevated to accommodate under-bed storage, which is practical in smaller living spaces.

“I wanted to put as much quality into the work as I could,” says Jack. “These families deserve to have nice furniture.”

“Every time I get into bed, I just love it! We all do!” says mom Dana, whose family has received several mattresses and frames.

Jack feels the experience has broadened his horizons.

“I learned a lot about family homelessness through this project,” he says. “It made me realize there’s so much to be done. Everybody has something they can contribute. I think that’s the best thing about volunteering – no contribution is too small.”