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Big family sleeps easier thanks to gift (w/video)

By Elena Watts
Feb. 18, 2014 at 6:02 p.m.
Updated Feb. 18, 2014 at 8:19 p.m.

Regina Campbell takes a moment to cuddle with her great-grandson, George Goldsmith IV, 2, as she talks about the new beds her family received from Ashley Furniture HomeStore at their Cuero home. Campbell, who medically can't have children, said she prayed and asked God for children. "I didn't ask Him to let me have children; I just said give me children, and that's what He did. He gave me children," she said with a laugh. "And He's still giving me children every day."

CUERO - Friends and family interested in Regina and Culberson Campbell's family need to pull up a chair and stay awhile.

In November, the couple added three great-grandchildren to their crew of three adopted daughters who still live at home.

Regina Campbell, 60, found makeshift beds for the children, ages 6, 4 and 2, until Eula Mathis, her friend of more than 30 years, made an important phone call.

Mathis called Ashley Furniture HomeStore to nominate Campbell for the "A Hope to Dream" bed giveaway after she saw a television commercial advertising the program. Lena Evans, Campbell's Cuero school district co-worker, then nominated her online.

"She has a lot of strength and a lot of love in her heart," Evans said.

On Feb. 1, Ashley Furniture delivered three single mattresses, foundations, sheet sets, comforters and pillows to the Campbell's gray wood-frame house on Nash Street.

"Thank you, Lord," Campbell said. "They are the best beds with that memory foam you sink into."

Pushed together, the beds fill a small room in the back of the house where the children now get a good night's sleep.

"I couldn't have children of my own," Campbell said. "The Lord put me here to take care of children already in the world."

Campbell's other two adopted daughters, both 29, as well as several un-adopted children Campbell helped rear, have moved into homes of their own.

The three great-grandchildren arrived for Thanksgiving and stayed in Cuero when their parents returned to Houston.

Campbell learned Child Protective Services planned to remove them because they were being neglected.

"I don't like to see a child want or be abused when I can help," Campbell said. "CPS backed off when their mother signed them over to me."

Campbell's home was considered a safe place.

"I just want to get them grown into strong, independent adults who can take care of themselves," Campbell said. "If they're happy, I'm happy."

Campbell teaches life skills to 15 disabled children, ages 13 to 15, for the Cuero school district.

"So many things you think people don't notice," she said. "But people do things for you that you don't expect."

Campbell said that hardly a day passes that someone does not bring her a bag of clothes or other useful items for her family.

"We don't have everything, but we're happy with what we have," Campbell said. "I'm happy being me and helping children."

Campbell credits her mother for teaching her compassion and generosity.

"I want my children to remember to do as I did," Campbell said. "When you get a blessing, don't hold it - pass it on."

Ashley Furniture, owned by Paige and Ben Streiff, of Victoria, began the "A Hope to Dream" program in November. The store donated $5 from every bed purchased toward the program.

In February, eight beds were donated in the Crossroads through the Victoria and Yoakum stores, and six were donated in Corpus Christi, where the Streiffs own another store.

"There are programs for food, housing and education, but not for sleep, which affects all areas of our lives," Paige Streiff said.

The Streiffs plan to donate beds four times per year, and the next delivery, which they hope doubles the last, is scheduled for April.

"The expression on a child's face when they make their new bed is the best thing ever," Streiff said. "Small acts of kindness impact lives."



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