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Sleep in Heavenly Peace gives kids the dignity, security of a bed to sleep in

Published: Mar. 3, 2021 at 9:53 AM CST
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - When you think about basic needs, you probably think about a place to live, food and clothing. But what about a bed?

An organization was recently started in our area to address the growing number of children who don’t have a bed to sleep in. Sleep in Heavenly Peace started in Idaho in 2012 and in less than a decade has grown with 245 chapters across the country. A new chapter just started in De Pere a few months ago.

What they do is build beds for kids who need them. “Bedlessness, it’s not really a word but it’s a problem. Two to three percent of kids in the United States are sleeping in a situation where they’re not in their own bed. They’re in bed with a parent or a sibling, on a couch or the floor, whatever it might be, but they don’t have a bed,” Dan Vermeulen, co-president of the De Pere chapter, said.

In one recent build, 30 volunteers were able to build about 20 beds in four hours. Already, half of those beds will be going to kids who don’t have a bed to sleep in. Each bed comes with a new mattress, bedding and a pillow.

“We just need to get them in their own bed. It gives them so much self-esteem. They can get a good night’s sleep. They’re going to perform better in school. There’s so many positives with it,” Vermeulen said.

Right now the local chapter is focused on serving De Pere and the west side of Green Bay so they don’t get overwhelmed with a long waiting list.

Visit the Sleep in Heavenly Peace De Pere chapter’s Facebook page if you would like to apply for a bed, volunteer, or donate to the organization. Anyone can apply for a bed for a child; it could be a social worker or a teacher.

Sleep in Heavenly Peace plans to do its next big build in April.

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