More than 200 volunteers build beds for local children in need

Published 5:42 pm Monday, June 17, 2019

More than 200 volunteers offered a helping hand Saturday morning to build 80 bunk beds for the LaGrange chapter of Sleep in Heavenly Peace, a nonprofit that builds and delivers beds for needy children. 

 “This is the first National Bunks Across America Build Day and there are 120 Sleep in Heavenly Peace chapters taking part, including the LaGrange one building today,” said SHP LaGrange chapter president Gregg Watts. “We actually started this time last year on building our first bunk bed as a team after seeing a Facebook program by Mike Rowe called ‘Returning the Favor.’” 

The group of men that started the chapter in LaGrange were already building handicap ramps, fixing porches and working with their hands for those who were in need, according to Watts. 

“This just looked like something we could do,” Watts said. “We are overwhelmed by the support, because we hoped to have 125 people but exceeded 200 volunteers.”

Watts said that all the bunks built will stay in a 25-30-mile radius of Troup County. 

“We talk to school counselors, DFACS (Department of Family and Child Services), churches who are already working with families in need or people come to us,” Watts said. 

All beds are built and then delivered within a week or two of building. 

“Watching kids who sometimes this is their first bed is so exciting,” Watts said. 

Organizations, churches and local sports teams came from all over the community Saturday to help out for the event. 

Watts said without the large amount of help the event would not have gone as quickly and smoothly as possible.

“This is a community thing,” Watts said. “We’ve got neighbors who brought neighbors and so forth. It’s just a total community event and is so much fun to watch all these people come out and do something good for the community for four hours on a Saturday.”

Following the motto: “No kid sleeps on the floor in our town,” Watts said people of all ages put all hands-on deck to make sure the beds were finished. 

“We have kids from 4-years-old to 90 something years-old working hard,” Watts said. “Kids are loading, moving lumber or hitting wood with mallets. That is part of it. Everybody has a job that they can do to help.” 

To find out more information about SHP or how to apply for a bed visit or call (844) 432-2337.