Sleep in Heavenly Peace
Boise chapter giving beds to more kids
Cutline for Sleep in Heavenly Peace Workshop: One of the Boise chapter’s Sleep in Heavenly Peace workshops was presented on Mike Rowe’s Facebook program, “Returning the Favor.” The group holds “build days” to make bunk beds for children in need in the Treasure Valley. (Courtesy photo)
By Liz Colton
“No kid sleeps on the floor in our town!”
Sleep in Heavenly Peace (SHP) started in a garage in Kimberly, Idaho in 2012. A small group of friends helped put together 11 bunk beds and delivered them to families in need during the Christmas holiday. It was only going to be a Christmas tradition, but it has become almost a full-time opportunity for most of those involved.
SHP is a nonprofit that is run completely by volunteers. We rely on donations and sponsorships to fund our “build days.” A build day is a day (usually a Saturday) when a corporation, small business, Eagle Scouts, or small groups of friends donate or raise money to build 10-50 bunk beds. Each bunk bed costs us about $387 to build and furnish with new mattresses, pillows, sheets, and quilts. We then hold delivery days and take those newly built bunk beds to families in our communities and set them up so that children have a warm and comfortable place to sleep.
Each week in the Boise chapter, we receive 5-10 applications for new beds from families whose children are sleeping on the floor or on lumpy, old couches and are not getting a good night’s sleep. We work with local school districts, Health and Welfare, churches, and other agencies to find families who need a little extra love and help, and we bring them brand new beds for their children.
My family and I became involved with SHP in 2012 when our friends, Jordan and Heather Allen, started a chapter in Boise. We had our six children living at home and wanted to teach them about service and giving back to the community that we live in. We started to attend build days as a family and learned how much fun it was to help out and serve. We were volunteers for a few years until Jared become the build manager and I become the volunteer manager in Boise. We spent the next year and a half working with the Allens to help grow the Boise chapter and build more and more beds for children in the Treasure Valley.
In April 2017, Jared and I were asked to take over the Boise chapter as chapter presidents. We had big shoes to fill and have spent the last year trying to keep up with the demand for bunk beds in the Treasure Valley. In just nine months, we were able to build 105 bunk beds (210 twin beds) and delivered those bunk beds to 204 deserving children in the valley who didn’t have a bed of their own. We have worked with some great businesses and some fantastic Eagle Scouts over the last year to build these beds, and we can’t do what we do without the help of the community. We also have some fantastic groups in the Treasure Valley who make beautiful handmade quilts for us to give to these sweet children.
On February 12, 2018, Sleep in Heavenly Peace was featured on Mike Rowe’s new Facebook show, “Returning the Favor.” Since it aired, it has been viewed by over 8.2 million people. Our headquarters has been flooded with people wanting to start a chapter near them. We have seen an increase in our application process in Boise and have received so many emails from people wanting to help out.
We haven’t been able to host a build day where people can come to help us out in a while, but we are hoping to have one soon. We don’t have a permanent location in Boise yet so we have to wait until the weather is nice and we can find a parking lot to borrow for a Saturday. If you are interested in sponsoring a build day or working with us for an Eagle Scout project or other service project, please contact us.
With the Treasure Valley’s help, we can continue to grow the Boise chapter and make sure that NO KID SLEEPS ON THE FLOOR IN OUR TOWN!
Liz Colton is Boise Idaho Chapter President of Sleep in Heavenly Peace. She may be reached at [email protected] or through the website at www.shpbeds.org.