76 Dressers for Bridging

A total of 76 dressers for Bridging were assembled by St. Edward’s parishioners on October 25, 2015! St. Edward’s social hall was filled to the brim with people, boxes, hardware and activity. So many pitched in to help—lunch and refreshments were served, refuse collected, and assistance offered, with dressers rolled away to be inspected and inventoried upon completion. Along every step of the way, Jerry Grebin was there, leading the charge.

Much like his involvement at St. Edward’s Church, Jerry Grebin has been working with Bridging for decades. He knew that companies often worked with Bridging in order to assemble dresser kits for families in need. He thought St. Edward’s parish ought to give it a try, too. So he recruited 35 team captains, who in turn recruited three other members for their building team. The result—all ages represented! From the infant who loved watching the activity around her, to teenagers who worked with their parents and grandparents, to Fran Heitzman, Bridging’s founder, who happily shared his age of 90 years, generations were working together.

Fran and Jerry, along with Bridging’s Community Relations Manager Diana Dalsin, pumped up an already very motivated group, eager to support Bridging’s goal of one dresser per bedroom. Along the way, songs were sung, music was played, door prizes were won, and the Minnesota Vikings beat the Detroit Lions! A free social membership at the Minnesota Valley Country Club was given away, along with gift cards and bottles of wine, with all prizes having been donated by local merchants.

Dressers were built from kits purchased by St. Edward’s Church via outreach dollars set aside for social justice and charity. St. Edward’s Community Life and Social Justice & Charity Commissions were instrumental in offering this event. Although assembly wasn’t easy for every team, it was memorable for everyone involved. Teams of four patiently, and with care, followed pages of assembly instructions to make each dresser. And when that dresser was completed, teams gamely opened a second kit to do it again! The determination and fortitude displayed was truly inspiring.

As the largest furniture bank in the United States, Bridging effectively reuses donated items to improve lives by providing quality furniture and household goods to those transitioning out of homelessness and poverty. Demand at Bridging is growing and they have not yet attained their goal to have one dresser per bedroom for each family who utilizes their services. But St. Edward’s contribution of 76 dressers went a long way towards moving closer to that goal!