More than 250 volunteers help build beds for kids in need
Published 7:29 pm Monday, September 11, 2023
On Saturday, dozens of volunteers gathered at New Ventures in LaGrange to support Sleep in Heavenly Peace’s (SHP) annual Bunks Across America National Build Day.
LaGrange SHP Chapter President Greg Watts said they had their biggest build day to date.
“We had a tremendous event for our chapter and the community. This was our largest event to date,” Watts said.
Watts said the number of volunteers for the event wildly exceeded their expectations. The final count was 269 volunteers. He said they also built the most beds in a single-build event at 110 beds completed, shattering last year’s total of 80.
Bunks Across America National Build Day is held each year by Sleep in Heavenly Peace chapters across the United States and Canada for a coordinated effort to ensure children have their own beds to sleep in at night.
The nonprofit organization builds and delivers beds to children who don’t have beds to sleep in every night. The organization started in 2012 with the motto, “No kid sleeps on the floor in our town.” Watts said the local chapter has participated in the build for the last five years.
The LaGrange chapter of SLP is an entirely volunteer organization, so they rely on community members giving their time to help construct the beds, which will be delivered to families who are verified to be in need at no cost. Mattresses and bedding are also provided at no cost.
Watts explained that beds that are constructed throughout the year are stored in parts and reassembled after delivery. Although the National Build Day is the biggest production day for SLP, the organization will continue to produce beds during the year, usually every couple of months.
Volunteers of all ages came out for the build day, from kids to older folks representing local service clubs and churches. Even the Troup County Sheriff’s Office got in on the action, bringing a crew to assemble the beds.
Sheriff James Woodruff said it was heartening to see so many kids at the event, including college and high school kids.
“They could have been doing anything else on their Saturday morning and they chose to come here,” Woodruff said.
Organizers said they still need volunteers to help deliver the beds. With over 100 bed applications within the last 30 days, the beds will need to go out soon.
For those with children in need of a bed or to volunteer, visit https://shpbeds.org/chapter/ga-la-grange/.