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Posted: October 26, 2008 12:00 a.m.

A place to rest

Boy Scout tackles bed-building project for homeless shelter

ost 15-year-olds don’t spend their time thinking about ways to help those less fortunate. Nor would they spend several weekends actually building beds for a homeless shelter. But Micahl Williams is not your average 15-year-old.

In an effort to earn his Eagle Merit Badge, Williams is building 80 beds for the Rainbow Homeless Shelter in Porterdale.

"I like being able to help out a place that doesn’t get a lot of help," he said.

With his father John doing carpentry and his older brother Andrew having build a gazebo and picnic tables for the shelter last year, Williams is no stranger to working with wood. And to earn his Eagle Merit badge, the project had to be on a large scale.

The Williams family is a member of Eastridge Community Church, which supports the homeless shelter. When told the residents needed beds - something that could stack, like bunk beds - it was a natural progression for Williams to start building.

Although the beds are coming along, Williams is short on funds and materials to make the 80 he needs. He has contacted several organizations and so far, has had nine people donate funds in the last six months. But at roughly $35 a bed for materials, any help he can get is welcome. Initially Williams was also going to supply mattresses for the beds but after contacting "every mattress company" in the area, John says none of them even called back. The shelter said they would find a way to get the mattresses if Williams could supply the frames.

"As a dad I want to just go out and buy the materials for him," said John. "But it is part of the program for Micahl to do it."

Currently Williams is looking for donations to complete all 80 beds. For more information on how to donate, contact John Williams at (770) 722-0360.

"It [the Rainbow Shelter] seemed like a good fit," said Williams. "It’s not a place that a whole lot of people choose to donate to, and they need the help."

For more information on the shelter, call (770) 787-8519.

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