Bismarck-Mandan Knights of Columbus build beds for children in Fort Yates

Published: Aug. 29, 2022 at 12:30 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) – After a long day, nothing beats crawling into your own bed for a good night’s sleep.

But imagine not having a bed.

It’s a reality for many children living on the Standing Rock Indian Reservation.

Now the good news: a group of men is working to change that.

Members of the nine councils of the Knights of Columbus in Bismarck and Mandan are committed to providing 50 beds to children through the Catholic Indian Mission and Saint Bernard’s Mission School on the reservation.

John Carroll knows his way around power tools.

“I worked as a carpenter in college,” he said.

Now, he’s putting those skills to work once again.

Carroll and his fellow Knights of Columbus are cutting, sanding and nailing. They’re building bed frames.

“It’s a fantastic cause,” said Carroll. “We are building beds for kids who need them.”

Carroll is in charge of the legs.

“We’re cutting the slats for the legs,” he explained as he cut a piece of wood.

Ben Ottomiller is on assembly.

“We’re taking the pieces they’ve cut and putting them together into headboards and baseboards,” Ottomiller said as he reached for a nail gun.

Together, they’ll build 50 bed frames for children in need.

“It’s pretty rewarding,” said Carroll.

“It’s such a tangible project and it is so relatable. We do take for granted that we will all have a bed and that’s not the case for all children,” said John Berger, who is a part of the Cathedral Knights of Columbus and helped organize this project.

Board by board, they’ll transform these piles of lumber into beds for kids who need them. All the while thinking of another carpenter they all know so well. And that is enough reason for them to continue this work.

Other local businesses are also helping with the project; I-Keating has donated mattresses, and Walmart and Kohls are providing bedding.

The Knights have two more build nights planned and they’re looking for volunteers to deliver the beds on Saturday, September 17.

They’re also accepting monetary donations to help pay for the beds.

You can learn more on their website.