"No kid sleeps on the floor in our town." That is the mantra of the non-profit organization Sleep in Heavenly Peace. The organization has partnered with the Living Word Bible Church in Mesa to build dozens of beds that will be donated to foster children throughout Arizona.
The massive effort will take place on Saturday, in the parking lot of the church, where hundreds of children who are taking part in a youth conference will be rolling up their sleeves to help build these beds,
For 17-year-old Declan Nichols, it was an eye-opening project. Nichols acknowledged that something as simple as a bed, was something he had always taken for granted. He was happy to take part in the project that would ensure a child had a bed to sleep in that night.
Joe Genovese, the Arizona chapter President of Sleep in Heavenly Peace said there were so many children who were uncertain about where they would lay their head to sleep, from night to night. He saw the need firsthand while visiting homes in the Valley.
"We see sheets on couches, we see air mattresses and old mattresses or sometimes no mattresses on the floor. We’ve actually seen children sleeping on a pile of laundry," said Genovese.
DCS identifies the foster families that are in need of furniture/bedding, and partners with local nonprofit agencies and churches to provide them with the resources to get their homes ready to pass the necessary inspections.
Genovese said the organization's mission was "humans helping humans" but this weekend it would be refreshing to see children helping children, as Living Word Bible Church had stepped up to volunteer to build the beds.
The church along with Safeway had donated almost $2,500 worth of lumber for the project. The hand-made bunk beds would be donated to fifty families in the Valley.
Genovese said he opened up his email every day to see more requests for beds. He added that what they were building was more than just a piece of furniture.
"I’m not a child psychologist, but I’ve talked to quite a few in the last couple of years and they tell us that children will have a healthier attitude and they’ll do better in school if they get a good night's rest. A good night's sleep is so vitally important for children," said Genovese.
Maes said it was amazing to see youth from his Church pouring their heart and soul into helping others in need.
"We don't see much of that anymore, so hopefully it'll inspire other kids to do more for the community," said Maes.
But a bed is not complete without bedding, added Maes. That is where they are asking the community for help.
Each bed is made to fit a standard twin-sized mattress and is delivered with a full set of bedding, including mattress, mattress cover, pillow, pillowcase, fitted sheet, flat sheet, comforter, and a stuffed animal.
If you would like to donate bedding, please drop it off on Saturday, March 20, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Living Word Bible Church, 3520 East Brown Rd, Mesa, AZ 85213.