May 17, 2017
Writer: David Payne
"No kid sleeps on the floor in our town."
That's the motto of a non-profit organization called Sleep in Heavenly Peace. The organization gathers donated funds to buy materials, then volunteers help build bunk beds for children who don't have a place to sleep.
Sleep in Heavenly Peace was founded in 2012 by Luke Mickelson after he had some leftover wood from a project. He and his family decided to use it to build a bunk bed. They posted the bed on Facebook, hoping to find a family in need.
"We were quite shocked, anticipating more people wanting a bed, but in all actuality what had happened was we had more people wanting to help and donate," said Mickelson. "All of a sudden I went from having a bed to having 10 mattresses, a bunch of sheets and quilts."
Sleep in Heavenly Peace continued to receive donations and more bunk beds were made. Individuals all over the nation wanted to get involved. Currently, there are chapters located in San Diego, California, Lehi, Utah, Twin Cities, Minnesota, and they are in the process of adding Las Vegas, Nevada, Kingman, Arizona, and Seattle, Washington.
One of the newest chapters has opened here in Rexburg, Idaho. Levi Shaffer heard about the organization, went to a build day in Utah with his wife and son and wanted to get involved.
"All three of us went down there for that and we decided to bring it to Rexburg," he said.
Sleep in Heavenly Peace organizes build days where anyone can participate in building bunk beds. Church groups, businesses or families can request a build day where they contribute funds for materials, labor building the beds and sometimes in the delivery process.
Shaffer said one of the best parts about the organization is being there when the child gets his own bed.
"You often see tears, both from the kid and from yourself and other people that may be watching," Shaffer said. "The kids are usually happy and they're bouncing on the bed and then they grab their pillow and curl up ready to go to bed even though it may be four o'clock in the afternoon. It's hard to put words into what happens there."
The first build day for the Rexburg chapter is scheduled for June 10, 2017, from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. The cost of each fully furnished bunk is $250, which includes donated time and money. If you were to buy a bunk bed like this, it would cost about $700. You can find more information on the build day at Just Serve, Sleep in Heavenly Peace's website, or their Facebook page. You can also request a bed for yourself or someone you know at the Sleep in Heavenly Peace's website.
Click below to hear interviews from Luke Mickelson and Levi Shaffer.