Categories: General
      Date: Feb  6, 2017
     Title: Watershed Development - In the News

The gift of good sleep: Local groups to give beds to K-5 kids in need

Published: Friday, Feb. 3, 2017 4:53 p.m. CST

STERLING – Sure, every kid needs nutritious food, decent clothes, medical care to get by. Add to that list a good night’s sleep. In fact, kids ages 5 to 10 should be spending 3,650 to 4,015 hours a year with their eyes shut tight, getting some quality zzzzzs in a comfortable bed.

Aarons Inc., The Sterling-Rock Falls Family YMCA, Candlelight Inn, and the Sauk Valley Area Chamber of Commerce plan to make that happen for dozens of area youngsters.

In collaboration with schools in Sterling, Rock Falls and Morrison, the partners will be giving away 80 twin beds and bedding to 80 area K-5 students who qualify for free or reduced food programs.

Mike Ceruzzi of Sterling is vice president of operations for Watershed Development Corp., which owns Sterling’s and several other Aaron’s franchises.

“This small idea has grown into a great collaboration with partners who understand there is a need in this community and are willing to take action to address it,” Ceruzzi said in a news release Friday. “We are pleased and excited to be a part of it.”

On March 4, the 80 children and their families will be invited to test out their new beds and pick their bed-in-a-bag bedding at a huge slumber party at the Y, complete with free food and fun activities. The next day, Aaron’s will deliver the beds, one per family, to their homes.

Beds might not be the first things that come to mind when you think of the basics some families need.

“Many times we can the take the simple things in life for granted,” YMCA CEO Andy Thornton said in the release. “Something as simple as a bed with sheets and a blanket are easy to underappreciate. A project like this helps you evaluate your own life and the things that really matter.”

“When we heard about this opportunity, we knew this was an effort we wanted to be part of,” Candlelight Inn owner Matt Prescott said in the release.

“Our kids and our community are a top priority in my eyes. Anything that Candlelight can do to help make our community a better place is simply the right thing to do.”

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About Watershed Development Corporation
Watershed owns and operates Aaron’s (NYSE – AAN) stores throughout Northern Illinois and Iowa. Aaron’s is a leading rent-to-own company with more than 2,000 company and franchise stores throughout North America. Watershed, a franchise operator since 2004, has earned the distinction of being an Aaron’s Top 5 Performing Franchise Operator multiple times since its inception and has been recognized as Aaron’s 2016 Franchise of the Year.