Sleep in Heavenly Peace

by Sheron Patrick | Jul 10, 2019 2:49:15 PM

Do you know what it’s like to not sleep
in a bed every night? Or maybe only have a couch or perhaps just a blanket on
the floor? I know I don’t. I was blessed with amazing parents who provided that
for me until I became an adult and now provide it for myself. Unfortunately,
there are thousands of kids across America who DO know what it feels like to
not have a bed to sleep in every night. That's where Sleep in Heavenly Peace
(SHP) comes in. It’s a group of volunteers dedicated to building, assembling
and delivering top-notch bunk beds to children and families in need.

My friend Jena posted a Facebook
invite several weeks ago about their “Bunks Across America” build. I clicked
“Interested” but honestly kind of forgot about it. Usually I try to look at my
Facebook invites and what’s happening in town about a week out and remembered that
SHP was doing the build the following Saturday. I was going to be in town, so I
committed myself to going and was excited to help build!

It happened a couple weekends ago. I
had the opportunity to team up with the Anchorage Home Builders Association
(AHBA) and the new (SHP) Alaska chapter for a “Build Day”. There were chapters across
the country that were building bunk beds on the same day to try and get as many
kids off the floor as possible, what a concept!

Participating
in the Build Day was an exciting experience.  I do not consider myself a carpenter by any
means but feel comfortable with most power tools. But there was plenty to do no
matter your skill set, from the moment you arrived, signed in, and got your
safety gear until the last SHP logo was branded on the final headboard of the
day.

There were
stations for sawing, sanding, drilling, assembling, staining, and branding the
wood. What started as a pile of raw lumber from the hardware store transformed
into ready-to-deliver bunks for kids in need. Did you know that last year SHP
had 14,780 volunteers who built 4,144 bunk beds which resulted in 9,253 kids
off the floor?!

Ashley
Ebnet, the Executive Director of the AHBA is a friend of mine so I asked her
what about SHP drew the AHBA to get involved with this organization and provide
the space and other necessities for the build? “I first heard about Sleep in Heavenly Peace when a friend, who
happens to be the SHP Alaska President shared it on Facebook,” Ebnet told me.
She continued, “I thought to myself, ‘I had to get involved and how could I
help them jump start their newly founded chapter?’ I reached out to…see what
their needs were and what I could do to help.”

“Originally, they needed
tools, supplies, in-kind donations, and support in spreading the word about the
organization. We were able to donate them a booth at the Home Show to showcase
their beds and advocate for their organization, it was a huge hit! Then our
Endowment team wanted to take it a step further by donating $10,0000 to help
cover material for over 100 bunk beds. Which then started the conversation
about the national build day (June 15th) in which all chapters
nationwide set out to build beds for kids who are sleeping on the floor. We
were able to help them coordinate a facility to host the build which was held
at Partusch Plumbing’s Warehouse & started a bedding drive to collect new
bedding to be delivered with the bunks.”

As if that wasn’t enough,
Ebnet went on to say, “Ultimately this organization is our key target when
following our mission ‘Building Anchorage. Building Families.’ The build was a
success and the volunteers did an amazing job; I cannot wait for next year to
do it all again!”

The AHBA is an accredited business
with the BBB, so I wanted to know why ‘trust’ is important to Ebnet and how it
fits within her Association? “Trust is a huge component in business because
trust is the basis in which all relationships revolve. Trust in one another. This
is especially true with your clients, employees, stakeholders, board members,
and even friends. Studies show when we trust each other or even a company we
are more capable of completing tasks and working cohesively as one.”

From the generosity of all
those volunteers, and that initial amount of money raised that Saturday
afternoon we ended up building 22 bunk beds which resulted in 44 kids being
able to have a bed built, delivered and setup in their home right here in
Alaska! Plus, all the wood that was cut, sanded, stained, and prepared for the
next build that happens. Something as simple as having a two by four plywood
bed can mean the world to a child who has never had one. Their motto is “No
child sleeps on the floor in our town” and that is a motto I can get behind
100%!!

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