The following notice was sent out regarding the closure of Bedtime Bedtimes, a popular local charity which was founded in 2006. The organization cites changes to the Title 1 Education Program as instrumental in their decision to cease operations. It considered closing once before when then Executive Director and Founder Karen Saeks chose to step down from her role. It wasn’t long before a group spearheaded by Dennis Pidherny offered to take over the reins of the organization.
Last year, Bedtime Bundles delivered food and care bags to hundreds of migrant families at 6L Farms over Thanksgiving last year alone. The Southwest Chapter of 100+ Women Who Care donated dozens of checks totaling $7,400 to Bedtime Bundles earlier this year. The letter also states the Greater Marco Island YMCA will take over any funds left to use to further the mission of Bedtime Bundles.
The Bedtime Bundles Board of Directors — Founder Karen Saeks, Executive Director Dennis Pidherny, and directors Cheryl Mueller, Rob Reiley and Dianna Dohm — would like to thank the community so very much for its past support. In the last eight years, the organization delivered more than 11,000 bundles, made more than 3,500 bread runs and provided clothing to local migrant worker families and the underserved of Collier County — all because of generosity of the community.
Over the last two years, the federal government has made sweeping changes to the Migrant Title 1 Education Program, which had in the past provided Bedtime Bundles with the information it needed to prepare bundles. The school liaison portion of the program, which was the group’s conduit into the migrant population, was severely reduced, making it extremely complicated for a grass roots organization to reach this disadvantaged group. These changes have made it difficult for Bedtime Bundles to identify and distribute bundles and food to the children and families in need.
Because of this struggle, effective Sept. 1, Bedtimes Bundles ceased conducting business. The monies collected prior to that date will be turned over to the Greater Marco Island YMCA, as they already have the network in place to continue Bedtime Bundles’ mission of providing for the migrant families and the underserved population in Collier County. This organization has deep roots in the local schools, which is imperative in continuing the work.
Any success achieved by Bedtime Bundles could never have been accomplished without the unending enthusiasm, loyalty and support of the community, which spearheaded the organization through its annual Thanksgiving donation drive and attended, volunteered, sponsored and/or donated to its signature event, Mutts & Martinis Yappy Hour.
In true spirit of Bedtime Bundles’ mission, its Board of Directors understands the YMCA plans to continue the Mutts & Martinis Yappy Hour at The Esplanade on Wednesday, March 19, 2015, so please plan on attending: “Your kindness has touched so many of those in need. Please know, together, we made a difference, one bundle at a time.”
Before signing off, the Board wrote, “Thanks a Bundle for the support, and when called upon in the future, we hope everyone will continue to open their hearts to those in our community who have so little.”