Sleep in Heavenly Peace: Building beds for Alaska kids

Nonprofit builds beds for kids in need.
Nonprofit builds beds for kids in need.(Alaska's News Source)
Published: Dec. 24, 2020 at 5:30 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Sleep In Heavenly Peace - AK Southcentral Chapter is building beds, making sure Alaskan kids have a good bed to sleep on.

Currently the nonprofit has 168 open requests for beds according to Chapter President John Holwege. He says one of the families on the list needs six beds.

“A lot of the kids might be sleeping on a pile of clothes on the floor, an air mattress or a sleeping pad. They might be sleeping on the couch some of them are sleeping in their parent’s bed. So many many different situations,” says Holwege. “Many of them just have old broken beds that aren’t really safe.”

He says the beds they make are sturdy, strong enough to hold up when excited kids jump and bounce on them.

Holwege got involved after watching a video on Facebook called “Returning the Favor,” with Mike Rowe. The video highlighted a small organization out of Idaho called Sleep in Heavenly Peace.

“My kids were in their bedroom actually sleeping on the floor, they had a bed but they like to sleep on the floor,” says Holwege about his introduction to SHP. “And I just thought to myself, my kids are sleeping on the floor, but what if they didn’t have a bed, what if this was their only option? It would probably get real old real quick. And I felt like I had the power to effect change and bring this organization up here.”

The original SHP started at Christmas-time in a garage and grew to now 250 chapters.

Holwege says all the building is done by volunteers who have to balance their personal and professional lives while building beds on the side.

“It’s a little bit overwhelming at times,” says Holwege. “But putting these beds into homes and watching their kids light up and how happy they are it’s worth it, 100%.”

If you want to get involved you can reach SHP - AK Southcentral Chapter through their Facebook page.

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