I did something a little outside of my norm this weekend. Instead of spending Saturday working on projects around the house, I spent this past Saturday afternoon with these awesome people volunteering for the Waco, Texas, chapter of Sleep In Heavenly Peace, which is a non-profit organization with chapters all over the U.S. and Canada that builds beds for kids in the community who don’t have beds.
I had never heard of this organization until a week ago when it was announced at my church that a new chapter of this organization was starting in Waco, and they needed volunteers to help build beds. I thought, “Well, I can build a bed!”
The beds they build aren’t anything fancy, but just imagine a kid who has been having to sleep on the sofa or on the floor receiving a brand new bed, complete with new mattress, bedding, and pillow, like this.
You can see more pictures, including pictures of some kiddos receiving their beds, on the SHP Instagram page here.
The process was actually very streamlined into an efficient assembly line with stations set up for particular jobs that literally anyone can do, so there’s no building experience required. The process started outside at the miter saw where all of the lumber was cut down into the pieces to make the bed. This was the job I volunteered for, so I spent most of my time cutting lumber.
Then those pieces were brought inside to the first station, where they received a very quick sanding to remove any rough spots and splinters. I did question the use of all of those sanders inside, but I wasn’t in charge. 🙂
And then the pieces get routed through all of these different stations, with each station completing a very simple task. Once it’s routed through all of the stations, we end up with a completed headboard or footboard…
Then it’s brought outside and branded with a branding iron so that it has the SHP logo on it, and then it gets dunked into the “stain” tank. They don’t actually use wood stain, which would be pretty expensive and VERY messy. Instead, they use the steel wool/vinegar trick to stain the beds. So once I got all of the lumber cut, I moved over to this dunk station to stain the finished headboards and footboards. And here you can see all of the finished headboards, footboards, and rails at varying stages of drying. The steel wool/vinegar method of staining wood works over time as the wood dries.
It was actually a very fun and rewarding day, and the process went very quickly. With about 25 people working, we got 10 beds (10 headboards, 10 footboards, and rails for each bed) done in about two hours.
The beds are made so that they can be standalone beds, or they can stack and be secured one on top of the another to create bunk beds.
There are chapters of this organization all over the United States. If I counted correctly, it looks like they’re in 42 states. If you’re in the United States, you can click here and see if there’s a chapter near you. And if you’re in Canada, you can click here to see if there’s a chapter in your area. It looks like it’s just getting started in Canada, but hopefully it’ll grow and expand quickly.
Also, if you know of a child in need of a bed, they have an application form online. I don’t think you have to be related to a child in order to fill out an application for that child. In fact, it says that they find most of the kids in need of beds through referrals. So if you know a child in need of a bed, you can click here to fill out the application.
And of course, just like any other non-profit organization that helps out in the community, they can always use your help! Whether it’s volunteering your time on a Saturday afternoon, or helping out with the cost of some of the lumber and bedding, they could use you!
I’m so glad to know about this organization. It seems so widespread in the U.S., so I can’t believe I’m only just now learning about it. I’m looking forward to more bed building in the future!
Evidently Mike Rowe featured Sleep In Heavenly Peace in his online show Returning The Favor in 2018. You can click here to watch that episode.
Addicted 2 Decorating is where I share my DIY and decorating journey as I remodel and decorate the 1948 fixer upper that my husband, Matt, and I bought in 2013. Matt has M.S. and is unable to do physical work, so I do the majority of the work on the house by myself. You can learn more about me here.
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