Local cancer survivor on a mission to bring beds to southeast Kansas children in need

Tess Watson started the organization "Dream Big Little One" to help provide beds for local children in need.

Tess Watson is on a mission.

“My goal with this program is to make sure that every child out there has a bed of their own,” she says.

Watson is a 9-year cancer survivor.

“It really kind of made me question my survival. Why did I survive and some of my friends haven’t? I always kind of wondered, what am I supposed to do? Why was I blessed?”

Watson found her answer last December, starting her organization called “Dream Big Little One.”

She partners with local social workers to provide beds for southeast Kansas kids who need them. 

Some of the families, they don’t have the resources, especially now. Some parents have gotten laid off or let go. They just don’t have the extra money for beds,” Watson adds, “They’re focused on food, they’re focused on utilities.” 

“Beds are something that a lot of us take for granted,” says Dezirae Hamrick, a local Children’s Case Manager in Baxter Springs, “Beds are very important to ensure that children get proper sleep hygiene, which can definitely affect their behaviors and their success.

When she started, she made cinnamon rolls to sell to raise money to buy the beds.

“Honestly, I didn’t know if we would sell one pan of cinnamon rolls.”

Long story short, she sold more than one.

“We ended up selling over 100 dozen cinnamon rolls,” Watson says, “We were able to buy four beds for a group of siblings right from the start.” 

Watson started a Facebook group in March to help connect with people and businesses interested in supporting the cause.

That group now has nearly 1,000 members, and on Friday afternoon, Watson sent her 65th bed to a child in need.

“The amount of families out there that are in need right now is overwhelming,” she finishes, “I have more requests than I can fill at the moment. I’m really driven to try to find the resources to help each and every family.”

Watson also collects sheets, blankets and pillows to go along with the beds.

The organization is currently selling shirts to help raise money to buy beds for local children in need. Click HERE to join the Facebook group and order a shirt or to find ways in which you can help.