Sleep in Heavenly Peace to hold bed-building event for needy children

Published 10:00 am Tuesday, June 1, 2021

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On Saturday, June 12, Sleep in Heavenly Peace will host a bed-building event called Bunks Across America in 46 states, according to a press release from the organization. The public is invited to help the organization build beds for children in need.

In LaGrange, the event will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the New Ventures building at 150 Lukken Industrial Dr E., according to Greg Watts, the LaGrange chapter president. The event is free, and volunteers don’t need skills, tools or experience to build beds. Watts said volunteers can sign up for the event ahead of time on the SHP website or simply walk in the day of.

The LaGrange chapter plans to build 80 beds during the event.

Watts said his chapter builds beds for kids throughout the year.

“This will be our sixth build this year,” Watts said. He explained that the builds are often sponsored by local churches, civic organizations, companies or other organizations.

“This is a national build, which is kind of a unique thing because we have some national sponsors that put money in from a national basis, but we also have, like… Duracell is co-sponsoring this build for us … and Barnett & Cheeves, which is a building manufacturing group,” Watts said.

People are encouraged to not only volunteer or donate money, but also to donate twin-sized bed accessories such as pillows, sheets and comforters.

“A lot of people that may not want to come and build,” Watts said. “They’re more than welcome to drop things off any time.”

SHP not only gives children beds but also bed accessories that allow children to sleep in them immediately.

“When we deliver a bed, we not only deliver a bed frame; we do the mattress, the sheets, the comforters, pillows. So, when we leave, that child is ready to go to bed with everything they need,” Watts said.

People of all ages are welcome to attend. Children can help build beds under their parents’ supervision.

“We really count this as a family event. It’s a good way to let their children see how to serve. We take most ages as long as the adults are with them.”

Watts said he gets applications for beds every week and that bed recipients are very grateful for the organization’s help.

SHP is a national, 501(c)3 non-profit organization that believes every child deserves a bed, according to their website. They started in a garage at Christmas time. After building one bed for a family, their leftover wood inspired them to build more. After making a simple Facebook post, the founders were flooded with responses from locals who wanted to help them build more beds. The charity now has over 150 chapters.

During Bunks Across America, SHP expects 15,000 volunteers to build over 7,500 bunks.

According to SHP, about 2-3% of American children don’t have beds.