The defining moment that changed everything.
— How Did Children Without Beds Get Started?
Children Without Beds Founder, Tracy Chemelecki, has been involved in children’s outreach ministry for over 20 years, in the Roswell & Alpharetta area. In 2014, the children’s ministry was started in downtown Atlanta. It was there that Tracy met a woman and realized she didn’t have any furniture. Their team decided to raise donations to furnish her apartment. On the delivery day, the kids from the ministry came out and wanted to help. The last items on the truck were the mattresses and beds. One of the little girls looked up at Tracy and told her she didn’t have a bed. Tracy stood there in disbelief. Only for the boy next to her to say he didn’t have a bed either. All five kids joined in saying they didn’t have a bed. Tracy looked at them and asked where they slept, and they said the floor. The defining moment was when one of the little girls took Tracy by the hand and into the apartment to show her. As they walked into the room that she shared with her sister, Tracy couldn’t believe what she was seeing. There was no furniture in the room, just floors covered from one end to the other with clothes, old couch cushions and blankets. That’s what the sweet little girls were using for bedding. One of them had a pillow that was old, tattered and half the size of a normal pillow, while her sister used a pillowcase filled with tshirts. As Tracy left the apartment, she did all she could do to hold back the tears, and she knew right then that something had to be done to help these kids.
— The Beginning
Immediately following that experience, Tracy contacted her friend Mandi to tell her what she had seen and the idea to start a non-profit. Children Without Beds was founded in 2016 with the mission to provide beds to any child in need. A month later, they were doing a big Thanksgiving outreach at that same apartment complex. Tracy decided to see how great the need was, or if it was just those five kids. She did a survey and there were 131 kids that did not have a bed and that was at 1 apartment complex. The next year in April, CWB delivered the first beds to those same little girls from day one.
Seeing the smiles on kids’ faces when they get their very first bed means the world to us. Every time we deliver a bed, we know the story behind their situation, why they don’t have a bed, what their need is. We really get to know these families, we pray with them, they become a part of our family. We couldn’t do that without people partnering with us. From 2016 to 2022, we have delivered over 500 beds in 25 cities across Georgia.
Video from June 2022