The local chapter of Sleep in Heavenly Peace spent last Saturday making 51 beds for children across Daviess County, with plans to provide several hundred more over the next year.
Sleep in Heavenly Peace is a nationwide nonprofit focused on making and delivering beds to children ages 3-17 who need them.
According to Bruce Sheldon, president of SHP’s local chapter, the need for beds in the Owensboro area alone is “astounding,” with an estimated 1,200-1,800 children who could benefit from the project.
Sheldon said he was shocked to learn of the harsh, uncomfortable sleeping conditions that affected so many local children. Some of them, he said, had been sleeping on piles of clothing or on the floor prior to receiving a bed through SHP.
“The need for beds in Owensboro alone is 2-3% of the population,” Sheldon said. “We’ve built 76 beds so far.”
Sheldon and his team of volunteers rely solely on donations to keep their nonprofit going. The community has been very supportive and helpful in the chapter’s endeavor thus far, he said.
“We’re going to try and do a build once a month, making 25 beds at a time. That would be 300 a year,” he said. “There’s a huge need for it.”
SHP makes and delivers beds to any child in need of one, Sheldon said. When a family reaches out and has their name placed on a list, there are no income limitations or other stipulations.
Each child receives a bed frame made of wood, a mattress, a pair of sheets and a comforter through SHP.
Since opening the doors to the local chapter last April, Sheldon said SHP has received requests for beds every day.
“Every day I get requests — sometimes more than one,” he said. “I don’t think we’re going to have any problems getting rid of beds.”
Sheldon noted that having a bed to sleep in is not only important for a child’s physical health, but for their mental and social health wellbeing as well.
Monetary donations to SHP can be made online or checks can be delivered via mail. Those wanting to contribute online can go to SHPbeds.org and select the Owensboro chapter to donate locally.