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SLEEP IN HEAVENLY PEACE

Volunteers invest money, energy to build kids’ beds

Posted on June 16, 2022

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Jackson Stapp, a rising third grader at Jones Elementary School, concentrates on drilling a hole in a board with the help of Tommy Wheeler during a recent Sleep in Heavenly Peace build at First Baptist Church.

Brie Handgraaf | Times

Jackson Stapp, a rising third grader at Jones Elementary School, concentrates on drilling a hole in a board with the help of Tommy Wheeler during a recent Sleep in Heavenly Peace build at First Baptist Church.

Travis and Phillip Johnson assemble head and foot boards for beds during a recent Sleep in Heavenly Peace build at First Baptist Church.

Brie Handgraaf | Times

Travis and Phillip Johnson assemble head and foot boards for beds during a recent Sleep in Heavenly Peace build at First Baptist Church.

Julie and John Conoley with Emma Spencer, right, sand rails for beds during a recent Sleep in Heavenly Peace build at First Baptist Church.

Brie Handgraaf | Times

Julie and John Conoley with Emma Spencer, right, sand rails for beds during a recent Sleep in Heavenly Peace build at First Baptist Church.

Each bed Sleep in Heavenly Peace gives to a child in need is branded with the organization’s initials.

Brie Handgraaf | Times

Each bed Sleep in Heavenly Peace gives to a child in need is branded with the organization’s initials.

Tyson Wooten drills screw holes in the sides of boards while Doug Spencer helps steady the wood during a recent Sleep in Heavenly Peace build at First Baptist Church.

Brie Handgraaf | Times

Tyson Wooten drills screw holes in the sides of boards while Doug Spencer helps steady the wood during a recent Sleep in Heavenly Peace build at First Baptist Church.

Jackson Stapp, a rising third grader at Jones Elementary School, concentrates on drilling a hole in a board with the help of Tommy Wheeler during a recent Sleep in Heavenly Peace build at First Baptist Church.

Brie Handgraaf | Times

Jackson Stapp, a rising third grader at Jones Elementary School, concentrates on drilling a hole in a board with the help of Tommy Wheeler during a recent Sleep in Heavenly Peace build at First Baptist Church.

Addison Brinkley, 12, uses a mallet and a template to press dimples into a board where it needs to be drilled for a bed during a recent Sleep in Heavenly Peace build at First Baptist Church.

Brie Handgraaf | Times

Addison Brinkley, 12, uses a mallet and a template to press dimples into a board where it needs to be drilled for a bed during a recent Sleep in Heavenly Peace build at First Baptist Church.

Jackson Stapp, a rising third grader at Jones Elementary School, concentrates on drilling a hole in a board with the help of Tommy Wheeler during a recent Sleep in Heavenly Peace build at First Baptist Church.

Brie Handgraaf | Times

Jackson Stapp, a rising third grader at Jones Elementary School, concentrates on drilling a hole in a board with the help of Tommy Wheeler during a recent Sleep in Heavenly Peace build at First Baptist Church.

Travis and Phillip Johnson assemble head and foot boards for beds during a recent Sleep in Heavenly Peace build at First Baptist Church.

Brie Handgraaf | Times

Travis and Phillip Johnson assemble head and foot boards for beds during a recent Sleep in Heavenly Peace build at First Baptist Church.

Travis and Phillip Johnson assemble head and foot boards for beds during a recent Sleep in Heavenly Peace build at First Baptist Church.
Julie and John Conoley with Emma Spencer, right, sand rails for beds during a recent Sleep in Heavenly Peace build at First Baptist Church.
Each bed Sleep in Heavenly Peace gives to a child in need is branded with the organization’s initials.
Tyson Wooten drills screw holes in the sides of boards while Doug Spencer helps steady the wood during a recent Sleep in Heavenly Peace build at First Baptist Church.
Jackson Stapp, a rising third grader at Jones Elementary School, concentrates on drilling a hole in a board with the help of Tommy Wheeler during a recent Sleep in Heavenly Peace build at First Baptist Church.
Addison Brinkley, 12, uses a mallet and a template to press dimples into a board where it needs to be drilled for a bed during a recent Sleep in Heavenly Peace build at First Baptist Church.
Jackson Stapp, a rising third grader at Jones Elementary School, concentrates on drilling a hole in a board with the help of Tommy Wheeler during a recent Sleep in Heavenly Peace build at First Baptist Church.

bhandgraaf@wilsontimes.com | 252-265-7821

Every bead of sweat dripping from volunteers’ foreheads was a small price to pay to ensure Wilson kids have a bed of their own. At least that’s what the teens who raised roughly $5,000 for a recent Sleep in Heavenly Peace build thought.

“It is just really cool to see everyone come out and support this cause,” said 15-year-old Zach Hill. “I know in Wilson and a lot of places actually, people aren’t as fortunate as we are, so it is good to come together to help others.”

First Baptist Church youth minister Susan Johnson volunteered on bed builds for the Rocky Mount chapter of Sleep in Heavenly Peace before the pandemic hit. When she learned a Wilson chapter had started, Johnson decided to show the youth group a video to see if its members wanted to hold a fundraiser for the organization.

Junior and Rachel Brinkley were volunteering with the Rocky Mount group when they decided to bring the cause to the Wilson community. They attended the national training, which covers the build process, digital marketing, fundraising and more.

“We attended the training in January and we’ve been on fire ever since,” Junior Brinkley said.

A core team of 10 or 12 Wilsonians completed the first bed build to learn the process — which includes a variety of templates to simplify the assembly — and began to work with other groups to construct the wooden twin-size bed frames offered free to any kids in need. Visit www.shpbeds.org/chapter/nc-wilson to learn more, apply for a bed or volunteer.

It costs $250 to sponsor one bed, which includes all the lumber and hardware, a new mattress and bedding along with pillows.

“We deliver it and set it up, so the bed is ready for the kid to sleep in that night,” Rachel Brinkley said.

As part of the First Baptist Church fundraiser, 8-year-old Addie Johnson held a yard sale and sold icy treats thanks to Sunset Slush. Her efforts raised about $1,000, and she also pitched in during a recent construction event where volunteers assembled 22 beds.

“It feels really good,” Johnson said.

For small groups, volunteers can assemble or stain beds at the chapter’s new office at 226 Tarboro St. E, but for larger groups, the team can set up 11 stations under tents in a parking lot or other area.

“We want to make sure we get the word out so people can apply to get a bed for their kids if they need one,” Rachel Brinkley said. “We’ve been talking to the Department of Social Services and made some connections with the schools, but we know we can do more to let people know because we know there are kids in Wilson that need beds.”

Want to help?

Sleep in Heavenly Peace can always use financial contributions, but there are a variety of donations people can also make, including:

• New twin-size bedding, especially comforters.

• New standard-size pillows.

• New twin mattresses.

• Drill bits.

• Lumber.

• Vinegar.

• Steel wool.

Visit the shortened link tinyurl.com/2p8ay5bc to see the organization’s full wish list of items.

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