The twentieth century actress and singer, Doris Day, made these lyrics famous:
“Sweet dreams till sunbeams find you
Sweet dreams that leave all worries behind you
But in your dreams whatever they be
Dream a little dream of me.”
Songwriters: Fabian Andre / Gus Kahn / Wilbur Schwandt
There are two children in Pulaski County who undoubtedly will be having sweeter dreams because of the volunteers of Sleep in Heavenly Peace in Pulaski. About 40 community volunteers hand crafted and delivered beds to the children last week so they no longer have to sleep on the floor.
Sleep in Heavenly Peace (SHP), a 501C3 organization started by Luke and Heidi Mickelson from Twin Falls, Idaho has a unique goal. Their motto is: “No Kid Sleeps on the Floor in Our Town – and we want our town to become everyone’s town.”
The organization provides beds for children ages 3 to 17 who have no bed of their own. Mickelson started making bunk beds in 2012 with a dream to help children in his church and community who may be sleeping on a couch or the floor. Volunteers from his church showed up in his garage to help build, sand, construct and deliver the beds. There are now 200 SHP chapters nationwide and in Bermuda.
Sleep in Heavenly Peace in Pulaski’s core member, Melissa Swanson, was one of the volunteers who was on hand this week to construct and then deliver the beds to the Pulaski family. She and her husband, Doug, heard about SHP while visiting family in Florida.
“SHP provides a great sense of community and unity and purpose to serve the Kingdom. The amazing part of a Build Day is that we bring all the tools; and all the volunteers need to do is show up.”
“This was my first experience delivering beds for children. It is humbling to be the hands and feet of God and to see tears of joy in their eyes when you leave,” she said.
Swanson explains, “There is no advertising – only word of mouth, and we can’t build the beds fast enough. You’d be surprised at how many kids sleep on the floor or the couch.”
Every SHP bed gets stamped with their logo and there is a segment featuring Mike Rowe – the “Dirty Jobs” guy – searing the logo onto a bed honoring the SHP founder during the filming of his other TV show, “Returning the Favor.” That episode can be seen at: https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=2020109721593621
SHP New River Valley Chapter President Paul Mele explains how the construction works during a typical Build Day.
“We don’t make the beds, but enable community minded individuals, organizations and churches to take care of people in their community in need. We come in with the tools and method to help and teach community minded individuals how to make the beds. A Build Partner organization or church hosts the workday. On this particular Build Day, Dublin United Methodist Church Mission Committee put up the money to buy wood for the beds. It costs $175 per bed and that includes a mattress, fitted sheets, comforter or blanket and pillows.”
An organization or church can also hold a Bedding Drive in which people donate twin bed size items such as pillows, fitted sheets, blankets and comforters.
Mele says, “We need Build Partners and organizations to provide the money and volunteers to build beds. We require one volunteer plus $175 donation per bed.”
Mele is going into retirement after serving 30 years in the U.S. Army and with ROTC at Virginia Tech and Radford University.
“I’ve been so rewarded in life and had 30 wonderful years serving others in uniform. Now I’m looking forward to serving others in our local community through SHP.”
Some ways the community can support the SHP NRV Chapter is: Go to the SHP NRV facebook page and click on “donate here.” https://www.shpbeds.org/chapter/va-new-river-valley
Additionally, Mele says they need to have adequate space as their SHP Chapter is expanding. Some other immediate needs are 4,000 square foot storage space; a 16-foot trailer for storing tools and machinery; and an 8-foot trailer for delivering the beds to the childrens’ homes.
Any individual needing a bed for a child ages 3 to 17 can go to the SHP website and request a bed.
Let’s make their dreams come true.
Note: Sleep in Heavenly Peace is holding a National Build Day on Saturday, September 26th and are looking for businesses, churches and organizations who want to volunteer to host a Build Day. They can contact the NRV Chapter of Sleep in Heavenly Peace for information. https://www.shpbeds.org/chapter/va-new-river-valley
By DANIELLE REID, The Patriot
Dublin United Methodist Church recently provided the location to construct twenty beds for use by children ages 3 – 17. Two of the beds were delivered to children in Pulaski County so they would no longer have to sleep on the floor.