| Austin American-Statesman
Velma and Cline Meredith’s old bed was so low to the ground, “he fell out of it twice and I have, too,” Velma Meredith says. Plus it had this hump in the middle.
He had taken to sleeping on the couch, which has springs that would poke at him.
Their grandsons’ beds were 10 to 15 years old, but no one’s really sure. “They’ve just been passed down,” Velma Meredith says.
That’s what it’s always been like. Someone offers them an already slept-on bed, and they take it, gratefully.
Last week, though, right before Thanksgiving, Factory Mattress delivered new beds, complete with bed rails, mattresses and foundations, to all of the Merediths.
The Merediths are one of the 12 featured families in the Statesman’s 22nd Season for Caring program, which highlights the needs of local families nominated by area nonprofit organizations.
Factory Mattress is donating $22,932 worth of new beds to all the Season for Caring featured families for the 11th year. Since 2010, it has donated almost $200,000 worth of beds to the Season for Caring families.
“Being a partner with Season for Caring for the 11th year, it’s an honor,” said Stephen Frey Jr., president of Factory Mattress. “There’s a need in the community that supported us 43 years ago. It’s all about Austin and Central Texas.”
Factory Mattress has given to other organizations locally including SAFE Alliance, which helps those experiencing abuse; Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Texas and San Antonio; and Texas Baptist Children’s Home.
“Throughout the year, if they reach out to us, we try to help as we can,” Frey says.
The Merediths were nominated to Season for Caring by Wonders & Worries, which helps children with a parent or caregiver with serious illness.
Cline Meredith, 67, has kidney cancer that has since been found in his brain. Recently he was back in the hospital again for a sodium deficiency, and doctors also have been monitoring him for seizures.
The family, which includes grandsons Aiden, 14, and Anthony, 17, whom the Clines are raising, are now making do on Cline Meredith’s Social Security checks. Earlier this year, Velma Meredith, 64, lost her job.
“What money I had saved up, it only lasts so long,” Cline Meredith says.
Even in better times, buying a new bed from a store was always out of reach. “It seems like always something had to be replaced or repaired,” he says.
For all the Merediths, this is their first new bed.
Once his bed was set up, Aiden made his bed with freshly washed sheets and sat on it to play video games with a smile on his face.
“I love it,” he says of his new bed. “My other bed had a certain area that would cave in. It made bad noises. When I got up at night to go get a snack, I’m pretty sure the whole house could hear me.”
For Frey, giving this family and all the Season for Caring families new beds is about providing a good quality night’s sleep, especially important when you are fighting something like cancer as Cline Meredith is.
“It’s going to an individual that really needs it,” Frey said. “I’m glad we’re able to assist. That’s exactly why we do it.”
The Merediths have many items on their wish list including help with bathroom tile repair and installing grab bars for Cline; car repairs; laptops for the grandsons for school; and help paying the mortgage and medical bills. The family’s wish list is at Amazon.
To find out more about the Merediths or to donate an item on the wish list, contact Wonders & Worries, 512-329-5757, wondersandworries.org.
Statesman Season for Caring
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