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Students at the Cabell County Career Technology Center build a bed to be donated for the Gemini Project before COVID-19.

HUNTINGTON — The Gemini Project met Saturday to construct beds for foster children in the area.

The project, organized by Jim Jeffrey and his wife, Terry — parishioners at St. Joseph Catholic Church — with manpower from the Cabell County Career Technology Center, has been building beds since 2019.

The career center’s Lumber Technology program has donated lumber to construct 50 beds.

There are 38 children on the wait list.

The project is also accepting donations for mattresses. Contact Terry Jeffrey to donate or to learn more about volunteering at 304-617-3621.

The name “Gemini” was coined by St. Joe’s Monsignor Dean Borgmeyer as a play on “Jim and I,” referring to Jim Jeffrey, and a reference to the twin-sized beds themselves. A similar project was already in place at C3 Church in South Point, Ohio, which loaned its bed designs to St. Joe for the project.

Each bed costs about $200 to complete, funded by donations from regular parishioners with support from the church and Catholic Charities.

Most of the beds stay local, having primarily gone to children in Cabell, Wayne and Lincoln counties, with some in Putnam and Kanawha counties.

There are more than 7,000 foster children in West Virginia. Foster children are not allowed to share beds with others or be placed in a home without an available bed, per the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, meaning some potential homes (like relatives) who could house those children are not permitted because they do not have a spare bed for them.

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