Sleep in heavenly peace is a local charity that builds beds for children who might need them. Jerry Shelton, president of Sleep in Heavenly Peace Buffalo says it’s called Bunks Across America and chapters across the country are building beds for two purposes. One, he says, is to raise awareness of the problem in their community and we have a big problem in the city of Buffalo; there can be as many as 10,000 kids that didn’t have beds. Jerry says about a week ago, he got in one day alone, 60 applicants that were looking for beds. Child development requires nutrition and adequate sleep and Jerry says they are hoping to be able to help them have a place where they can get a good night’s sleep.
This organization was founded in Idaho many years ago. Jerry says he and his wife Mary Jo saw a video clip about what this guy Luke Mickelson was doing out there. They decided along with their good friends, Rick and Betsy Divita to start a chapter here in Western New York, specifically focused on the city of Buffalo. They did their first bed in August of 2020 and their stretch goal was 500 for the first year. He says he thinks by August of this summer they will be over 600 beds and it’s a statement of the great community we live in, support they have had, from both the volunteers and finances and also with linen donations.
Jerry says there are three ways a person can help. First, help them spread awareness. If you want to show up to the event on Saturday, they would love it if you brought a donation of a pillow, or a mattress pad, or a comforter. That would be great he says. They are going to try and collect this weekend. They are going to deliver 50 beds and that’s 50 pillows and 50 mattresses. Every bed they put in a home is new with all new linens. People can volunteer if they want to help in the building process. It is very safe, very well thought out, it is very organized and gives you a great sense of satisfaction if you built a bed for a kid. Another area is the delivering the bed, and some of the advantages people say is that they have the best job because they are taking the beds in and seeing the kids faces when they get a new bed. Jerry says there is not a better feeling. He delivered a bed to a little guy and he said the boy was so excited about them building the bed, and wanted to help and told Jerry he couldn’t wait until it was night and he could get into his new bed.
The Bunks Across America bed building event is tomorrow, June 12th, at the Eastern Hills Mall from 9am – 5pm.