Lucas Benham is taking over the Brush. Books. Bed. program that his brother Coleton started about ten years ago. He’s collecting donations to provide families with the gear needed for a wholesome bedtime routine.
Brush.Book.Bed. provides every kid that registers for the program with bedtime staples: a toothbrush, a book and a set of pajamas. Benham works with Woolwich Community Services to run the it alongside the WCS’ backpack school supply program.
Benham remembers helping Coleton when he was about 8 years old. Now, Coleton is in university pursuing an engineering degree, working and playing sports, so Benham has taken on the challenge.
“[Coleton] passed it down to me so that I can continue it,” said Benham. “It kind of stopped a bit through COVID because we couldn’t do it. Now, I’m trying to bring it back and this is the first year since COVID.” he said. “It feels good, because if I didn’t take it on, it wouldn’t have continued. Kids need that nighttime routine – it’s very important.”
Benham is entering Grade 10 this year.
“Going into high school, I’ve realized how much sleep is really beneficial to my health. If I don’t get enough sleep, I can really feel it the next day. And for kids, having that nighttime routine is super important.”
This year, the anticipated need is about 125 children. So far, 100 children have registered for the program, says Tina Reed, community support coordinator with WCS.
“These programs are important because many families are struggling financially and we can alleviate some stress by offering the back-to-school needs,” said Reed.
“I’ve realized it’s a privilege to have what I have. And then I think ‘some kids don’t have pajamas, toothbrushes.’ When I was a kid, I always had that stuff. I had that routine. It was a big part of my night and it was part of my routine, and for kids not to have that would suck,” said Benham.
Benham says predicting numbers was a little bit difficult this year because the program didn’t run during the pandemic, so they don’t have previous years’ numbers to work off of, or know how the pandemic might impact the need.
Nonetheless, the items have been collected and purchased and are ready for the families that need them.
“It’s a privilege to have what we have and it’s important to give back to the community,” said Benham.