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A Worthy Non-Profit In Waco, Texas (and Nationwide), And A Great Way To Spend A Saturday Afternoon

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!

UPDATE:

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.

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19 Comments

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  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Michelle
    August 8, 2022 at 11:11 am

    What a wonderful organization! We are all so lucky to have beds and other essentials. So glad you let us know about this, Kristi! 💕

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Nola Brown
    August 8, 2022 at 11:15 am

    WOW! I’d never heard of SHP either! Thanks for sharing an incredible program!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Melanie
    August 8, 2022 at 11:27 am

    Nice! I see you starting your own program (of something) in the future. You are so multi talented

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Angela J
    August 8, 2022 at 11:41 am

    Love this! And love how you’re using your blog to spread the news! God bless!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Martha Gish
    August 8, 2022 at 11:49 am

    Watched this and learned about it when Mike Rowe highlighted them on his FB show, “Returning the Favor” a couple years ago. The program really grew after that aired. Amazing to think how many kids don’t have beds…..Thanks for helping!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Jill Nelson
    August 8, 2022 at 12:15 pm

    I love this Kristi! I work for a non-profit which, amongst other things, supplies free beds and bedding to families in need. It’s expensive! Maybe $1000-1200 per family post Covid. Oh — but the eyes of children getting their very first bed! And bedding – even grown adults light up when they can have new, clean sheets, pillows and comforters! Even most of us who have struggled financially at times , don’t know what it’s like to not have a bed. Just a bed. Thank you for spending an afternoon helping such a worthy cause!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Stephanie
    August 8, 2022 at 12:17 pm

    This is excellent, Kristi; what a worthwhile cause. I’ve just requested volunteer information from my local chapter! Thanks for donating your time and skills and for spreading the the word!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Teresa
    August 8, 2022 at 12:56 pm

    Never heard of this, yet knew children who needed a bed!
    And there’s a chapter near me, so will donate or volunteer.
    What a great organization. THANK YOU 😊

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Crystal Griffith RN
    August 8, 2022 at 1:05 pm

    Thank you for the head’s up! Found a branch in my county and just sent a donation.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Karen Rawlins
    August 8, 2022 at 1:09 pm

    We have 2 chapters here in Alabama (that I know of). Awesome organization!!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Mrs Mike
    August 8, 2022 at 1:16 pm

    That’s fantastic! I’ll have to see if there is a local chapter here in Houston, my whole family would love to get involved with something like this.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Kristine Marrero
    August 8, 2022 at 2:49 pm

    So Cool to see you involved in this! My husband and I joined this group about six weeks ago, and love that it helps our community directly 💚 When the beds are delivered in our area, the kids get to help set up their own beds. The looks on their faces are priceless.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Karla
    August 9, 2022 at 8:12 am

    My mom makes quilt tops for this organization. Proud of her and proud of all that help make it a dream come true.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Tammy (Pa.)
    August 9, 2022 at 8:25 am

    AWESOME….

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Cheryl
    August 9, 2022 at 11:01 am

    I just called and volunteered in my city! Thank you for the heads up!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Teresa
    August 9, 2022 at 6:17 pm

    We have this in our town and my church is very active in this also. It is a wonderful thing to see!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Alta Craig
    August 10, 2022 at 9:54 am

    How do they secure the beds together to make bunk beds? Does the wood smell like vinegar? What a great idea!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Judy
    August 10, 2022 at 10:19 am

    This is so awesome! And you have just the right skills to help them out! God works in mysterious ways!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Angela
    August 13, 2022 at 11:46 pm

    Their growth really took off after Mike Rowe featured them. I’m SO glad you got to help with their new chapter.