the Ija Sleepover - a Heads Without Beds story

Thank you to all the people who so kindly and generously contributed to Ija’s Sleepover - the Heads without Beds fundraiser.

In the past twenty years our family of five has been involved in a tonne of fundraisers for work and school and sports and so many things in between. (Including a teacher getting a great haircut/getting her head shaved).

But the youngest is now 19 and that phase of our lives has wound right down. Everyone contributes to things important to them in their own way. One thing important to all is Ija.

On Mother's Day last year we adopted a little 8-week old puppy from the SPCA (mother from Happy Valley Goose Bay, born to St. John's) and called her Ija Rawlins Goose. It was great timing for our family because it gave the kids another reason to want to spend time at home.  She's made it it to everyone's important list.

8-week old white-faced black-eared puppy Ija Rawlins Goose in grass

So it was a bit of a thrill for the five of us, plus Ija, to participate in Home Again Furniture Bank’s Head Without Beds event.  We set it up as Ija's Sleepover.  First,  here's the story on the event - Kim and Guide to the Good did an Inside Scoop about it 

Two things made it appealing to the family - and to all who so generously donated!  

1) the idea that poor little one year old 80 lb Ija who is not allowed on beds or chesterfield (except at the cabin) would be on the same plane as everyone else and 

2) the speed, efficiency and impact Home Again Furniture Bank makes to people’s lives.  On the one side, donors with furniture to donate contact Home Again.  Home Again volunteers come for it on the specified day and bring to the storage space.  On the other side, people who need furniture let Home Again know.   Before too long, the donated furniture winds up in the homes of the people who need it.   

And most importantly, we know there are people in our community who don't have a bed to call their own, and we know it makes a difference to how they feel every single hour of every single day. 

The official night was March 31, but we did our Heads Without Beds event on April 2 - one day after Owen’s 22nd birthday so we did a mash-up.  (There was a live band birthday celebration at the family house on the 1st, so Ija and the parents took the opportunity to visit brother Mike in St. Bernard’s on the Burin Peninsula.  We saw whales in St. Bernard's Harbour!)  

The bedless birthday Ija sleepover began with Peaceful Loft special take-away supper (that guy ALWAYS gives extra), a spectacular cake, and general birthday fun. 

Four people and a birthday cake with one lit candle

With celebration done, we settled in for Ija's Sleepover component, which was agreed to be a round of Train Game.  Games are usually controversial around our family table and this stood true.  It was close, but Poppa Finn won. 

When it was done and everyone calmed down, we re-focused and were getting ready for the photo-op.  Where’s Ija?  

The star of the sleepover, Ija, was gone!

After a few minutes of calling and looking, we found her. In her crate. Great!  We were so happy and excited to join her.

First she was a bit surprised.  Then she turned around completely away from us (not pictured) but we did not be quiet or go away.  She turned back again and was just plain annoyed.  

Ija needs a good night’s sleep.  

Like we all do.

Thank you so much to everyone who donated and otherwise supported Ija’s Sleepover.   Because of your donations, nine heads will now have beds.  That will make a difference to their lives every day.

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Kim Todd

Kim is founder of Guide to the Good. Ija's best pal and with Dave Finn, parents to Kate, Owen & Lucy. She's a graduate of and perpetual student of applied ethics, digital marketing, and communications. Local, social and green choices are good things.