To provide complete, comfortable, and safe beds to children in need in Lorain County, Ohio.
Empower families with children by delivering beds and other essential items to powerfully supplement the family’s resources as they rise out of poverty and into self-sufficiency.
Who we are
Good Knights is a non-profit, 501(c) (3) organization dedicated to serving low-income families in Lorain County through an empowerment model aiding with dignity. Beds for children are constructed through a two-step process. ‘Build days’ are made possible through Good Knights sponsors/donors who provide the raw materials for the bed components to be built. ‘Delivery days’ engage the community to further rally volunteers to assist assemble and deliver the beds to families on a separate day. If sufficient funding is secured, recipients may also receive a pillow, sheet set and blankets when their bed is delivered.
Strategic partnerships have been established with a number of social service agencies who’s clients need assistance with self-sustainability. Knowledgeable social workers employed by the referring agencies vet and then refer their organization’s clients. Individuals may also apply online through Good Knights website to receive beds.
Keeping all donated funding within Lorain County, the goal is to meet a demand of about 600 beds annually. While the emphasis is beds for children, Good Knights also collaborates with other non-profit organizations, churches, and schools to deliver more services to families in need.
Roger Dorsey, Executive Director
Roger founded Good Knights in fall 2020 with first-hand knowledge of what it is like to sleep on the floor. At the age of 11 years old when his mother, siblings, and he moved to Elyria, he slept on the floor for 3 years. In his own words, “Not knowing where I would sleep, on a blanket on the floor or in the closet in a pile of clothes made bed time something I hated.”
He is the former Executive Director of the Lorain County chapter of a national non-profit that has provided beds for kids. Under his guidance they built and delivered over 1,500 beds in a 24-month period. He built several alliances with foundations, corporations, and non-profits to bring awareness to the needs of children in Lorain County.
Roger spent seven years in the United States Marine Corps serving as a Military Policeman and President Support Specialist. He holds a Doctorate in Divinity.
Jeff A. Baxter, President
Jeff has an extensive background serving as both a volunteer and/or board member at organizations including Elyria Hospitality Center, Lorain County Urban League Guild, and the City of Elyria’s Civil Service Commission. He became one of the founding members of Good Knights of Lorain County because he believes strongly that all of us need to be part of the solution rather than part of the problem. His motto is, “when we all do a little, nobody has to do a lot.”
Jeff brings to Good Knights management experience from his long tenure with the May Department Stores. His leadership skills are used to lead volunteers to serve the needs of children from low-income families.
Board of Directors
Russ Hill, Director
Russ Hill is the Founder and President of Ultimate Lead Systems, Inc. a 37 year old company specializing in customized Customer Relationship Management software and support to companies like Sherwin-Williams, Ridge Tool, Eaton Corporation and others nationwide. His business expertise includes sales, marketing and strategic planning. A Summa Cum Laude graduate of Capital University with a B.A in Business, he has served non-profit organizations for many years including working with Wish Kids as a volunteer for Make-A-Wish for five years helping to grant “Wishes”. He has also served on the Board of the Malabar Farm Foundation in Lucas, Ohio, and produced two major fundraising events with on stage interview shows with Hollywood TV celebrities that brought Malabar Farm and the State Park national attention. Russ has also served his community as the founding Chairman of the city’s Architectural Review Board, Charter Review Commission, as President of the Chamber of Commerce, and as Board member of other community organizations. Russ lives in Berea, Ohio, is married to Mary Beth, and has two grown children.
Thomas Gerrity, Director
Tom credits his volunteering and community involvement to watching his mom volunteer so much as he grew up. He started volunteering with student organizations while attending BGSU Firelands in Huron Ohio. Two years after graduating from BGSU, Tom returned to Firelands to serve on the Firelands College Advisory Board for nine years as a board member, secretary and president. On and off for the last 26 years, Tom has returned to Firelands to serve on probably twelve different committees.
A few years after graduation, Tom joined a local group of individuals in Norwalk who started Project Leadership in Huron County whose purpose was to grow local community leaders. Over 12 years, Tom served as a board member, secretary and president.
Other previous community memberships over the years include the Rotary Club of Norwalk, Huron County Transit Board and a city representative to the local chamber, uptown manager and county development council. Over the fifteen years Tom worked at the Huron County Board of Elections, he served for many several years on the statewide Ohio Association of Election Officials organization as both a legislative committee member and an executive committee trustee.
Tom is currently a member of and leads the Oddfellow Lodge in Norwalk, is the president of the Norwalk Public School Alumni Association and has been the Treasurer of Answering the Call Together in Norwalk since 2012.
Sharon Sweda, Director
Sharon Sweda is a local businesswoman who served over 30 years as real estate agent and broker prior to opening a local title company. During her tenure, Sweda served as President of the Lorain County Association of Realtors, Chairman of the Board of the Cleveland Area Board of Realtors, and numerous state committees, including chair of education, professional standards, ethics and executive committee. She has earned local and state recognition for her pro bono work to negotiate short-sales and mortgage modifications on behalf of upside-down homeowners.
Sweda was appointed as Lorain County Commissioner in 2019 and is a member of the Lorain Lions Club, the NAACP, the Farm Bureau, 100 Women of Lorain County, the Lorain County Chamber of Commerce, the Mexican Mutual Club. Lorain Historical Society and many other organizations. She contributes her free time to supporting non-profits throughout Lorain County and most recently co-founded the Lorain County Youth Brigade.
Sweda is a graduate of Marion Steele High School in Amherst, attended LCCC and is a member of Phi Theta Kappa.
Lorain County Stats
Lorain County is one of the poorest counties in Ohio
- Lorain County is one of the poorest counties in Ohio
- 27.2% of Lorain residents had an income below the poverty level in 2017, which was 48.7% greater than the poverty level of 14.0% across the entire state of Ohio.
- The poverty rate in Elyria is 22.1%. One out of every 4.5 residents of Elyria lives in poverty
- The poverty rate in Oberlin is 23.5%. One out of every 4.3 residents of Oberlin lives in poverty.