My Very Own Bed

My Very Own Bed

The first grant request to the foundation came from Boom Boom’s Beds. And, yes, as his new program officer, Linda Halverson had questions. She met with Michael Joseph Allen at a nearby Caribou Coffee where he explained that his nonprofit was named in honor of his dad — a man he dearly loved, who was nick-named Boom Boom and who died unexpectedly the year before. A child of some privilege, Michael’s dad taught him to pay it forward — something ” …he always emphasized.” So, after his day job, Michael honors his dad by delivering twin bed sets for children in homeless families who have recently found new, stable housing.

Michael set out to deliver 150 twin bed sets and linens in 2016 to newly-homed families — the same year that he asked the Foundation to support his need for some meeting and storage space. “I just need to be able to rent a small space where I can store bed sets and gather my volunteers — maybe feed them doughnuts and coffee before we deliver beds on the weekend.”

Michael’s first-year outcomes were exactly as he proposed in his funding request. He delivered 150 bed sets and acquired new office and storage space. He beamed as he showed Linda around and provided some context.

People at his church in Wayzata introduced him to the maintenance “guy” (David) for the Keg House Art building in northeast Minneapolis. They immediately hit it off, Michael shared his needs for office space and storage, and David offered to share his basement space with Michael – at a significant discount.

Michael’s new space has plenty of room and creates a separation between his volunteer work and his home. His nonprofit also has a new name: My Very Own Bed. “I didn’t want to give up Boom Boom, but it didn’t describe what we did as a nonprofit. My dad would understand the renaming,” said Michael. The last thing Michael showed Linda was a framed award letter from the Schulze Family Foundation, a gift from his mom this past Christmas that hangs on the wall in his new office! The last thing he wrote in his final follow up report was this:

“I would like to tell the Schulze Foundation thank you for believing in this mission. I’m proud to tell our donors about the support we received from this grant and the partnership we have with the Foundation. Receiving this grant was more than just receiving funding. It gave this mission the strength and opportunity to grow. It also gave us positive credibility toward the small reputation we have in our community. I want to especially thank Mr. Zumwinkle [Michael’s initial contact at RMSFF] for this opportunity. Mike gave me a chance and believed in the work we do in the community. I will forever be grateful for meeting Mike in the coffee shop that day. He gave me great advice and insight on how to reach my goals and be successful in my mission. Mr. Zumwinkle is someone I look up to.”

You can learn more about My Very Own Bed here.