Across the U.S. and in Dakota County, too many boys and girls go without a bed to sleep on. Instead, these children sleep on couches, blankets and floors or share a crowded bed with siblings and family members.
Sleep in Heavenly Peace is an all-volunteer nonprofit that makes and gives beds to children who are sleeping on the floor and in other uncomfortable circumstances.
All of the beds are built by local volunteers, funded by local organizations and individuals, and delivered to children in Dakota and Scott counties.
“This year the volunteers worked in small, socially distanced groups at a family farm in Northfield,” said volunteer Chapter President, Nate Miller. “The donated use of this outbuilding allowed us to leave all of our tools and materials in place, and we had groups building beds two to three days a week over the summer. We would not have been able to reach our build goal this year without the use of the farm.”
Some of the organizations that provided funding this year include the Lakeville Lions, Lifecore Foundation, the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community, the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation and the Burnsville Rotary Foundation.
In-kind donations of pillows and bedding were received from the Lindell Foundation, Thrivent Financial for Lutherans and many individuals.
The organization’s motto is “No kid sleeps on the floor in our town.”
In less than 10 years, the organization has grown from a service project in a garage to over 200 chapters in three countries.
At the conclusion of four build seasons, 1,155 beds have been built by volunteers for the SHP Twin Cities South chapter.
The applications for beds received often detail situations of people living in poverty, fleeing domestic abuse, homelessness, and many involve single parents starting over, families who have had to throw beds out due to bed bug infestation, and family members who have recently became guardians or obtained custody of children whose parents are no longer able to care for them. Requests often originate from social workers and community liaisons on behalf of families.
SHP estimates 2-3% of children do not have a bed of their own. The organization aims to help create safe, positive living environments for children, and provide families with the resources needed to ensure their children do not have to sleep on the floor.
Sleeping in a bed helps ensure a better night’s sleep and that can help with better performance academically, socially, and physically.
Bed deliveries will continue until the supply of beds is exhausted. On a recent delivery, five beds were given to one family where all five children were sleeping on the floor.
The next build season is expected start in spring or summer of 2021.
To qualify to receive a bed, children need to be between 3 and 17 years of age, not have a bed of their own, and reside in the area supported by the chapter – Apple Valley, Burnsville, Farmington, Lakeville, Prior Lake, Savage and Shakopee.
To apply for a bed, volunteer or provide donations, visit https://www.shpbeds.org.