June 24, 2016
IMAGINE HOW SCARY and unsettling it would be if you were homeless and arrived at a shelter, and were given a plastic bag for your few belongings. Sleeping on a plush, high-end new mattress would probably be one of the last things you’d expect to do that night.
But think of how comforting and welcoming that would feel.
At Verlo Mattress, we believe everyone deserves a comfortable night of sleep – especially those who are facing very difficult circumstances, like homelessness, abuse or addiction.
Our belief has lead to what has become a Verlo family tradition: building and donating mattresses to those less fortunate in our community. Twice a year, we close our Milwaukee-area corporate offices, factory and stores to gather our staff, and build mattresses slated for different charitable organizations supported by the United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County.
Last week, 49 Verlo employees gathered in our mattress factory to build 14 mattress sets. Nine of the mattresses will be given to The Women’s Center in Waukesha, a shelter that serves women and children who have experienced domestic violence, sexual assault, and abuse; and five mattresses will be donated to The Guest House of Milwaukee, a shelter for men experiencing homelessness, including people living with mental illness and struggling with addiction.
After the mattresses were assembled, sewn, and wrapped in protective plastic bags, each Verlo employee signed their name on a large sticker affixed to the plastic bag, with some of us including messages of good will and encouragement for the people who will be on the receiving end of the mattresses.
“Verlo employees not only built the mattresses, they gave much more by providing those experiencing homelessness with a safe and comfortable place to sleep and reenergize for the day ahead,” said Lori Hayes, Manager of Community Volunteerism at United Way. She went on to offer, “One agency reported that one of the donated mattresses will help a pregnant mother to sleep much better!”
In addition to the 14 mattress sets, Verlo also donated 14 mattress protectors for a total donation of almost $8,500. But for the Verlo employees, the true value of the experience was knowing we were helping others going through a rough time.
As Verlo’s Senior Digital Designer Ben Bird shares, “It made us feel good, and proud that we work for a company that truly cares about our community.”