The VIPP Report: The AKAs build beds for children in the community as they celebrate 100 years of service in Louisville

By Sherlene Shanklin

The Eta Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated® celebrates their 100th year chapter anniversary by participating in the Build-A-Bed project. 

The Hortense B. Perry Foundation in Collaboration with Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated® Eta Omega Chapter, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.®, Alpha Lambda Chapter, Jefferson County Public School, (JCPS) Office of Community Support Services, and Foresters Financial teamed up to ensure that JCPS children would have a better night’s sleep. 

On June 11th the organizations teamed up to participate in the Build-A-Bed project, an initiative designed to enhance the lives of school age children in the Louisville community.  The project is designed to provide beds for children who do not have beds in their homes or do not have beds at all. The goal was to build 25 beds.  From cutting and sanding wood beds to furnishing pillows, linens, and blankets.  Plus, books, and snacks as an added treat along with sone stuffed animals. The build took place at the Maude Brown Porter Center for Excellence located on South Crums Lane, in Louisville.

Lynetta Crawford, President of the Eta Omega Chapter says “It is very concerning that 1.5 to 2 million kids in America sleep on the floor each night,”  She goes on to say, “This is a very impactful service project that will fulfill a basic need for children in the Louisville community. We can truly make a difference in a child’s life by giving them a place to lay their heads.” The goal is to promote healthy bedtime rituals, improve the quality of sleep, and create happier days, brighter dreams, and more opportunities for a lifetime of success.

Ben Langley of the JCPS Office of Community Support Services gave an alarming local statistic. “More than 10,000 children are homeless during each school year in Jefferson County,” Langley adds “When family circumstances improve enough to enable the family to secure a place to call home, most of them start from scratch. For most children, this means either sleeping on a couch or, more often, on the floor. Having a bed to sleep in can give a stronger sense of stability and can help children get the rest they need in order to attend school and achieve academic success.”

The Hortense B. Perry Foundation mission is to provide resources and services within the community with focus on education, health, leadership development, economic empowerment, and the visual and performing arts. Our top priorities are: Education, Health, and Economic Empowerment.

Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated® Eta Omega Chapter was established in 1922 and is the first graduate chapter of the international organization to be chartered in the Louisville area. The chapter’s commitment to education and the advancement of individuals is pivotal to the foundational belief of service to all mankind.

They will have various events and activities throughout the year to celebrate their centennial celebration. 

***Reporter’s note*** I have been a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated for 26 years.