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Sleep in Heavenly Peace, TFD partner to build bunk beds for children in need

Updated: Jun. 12, 2021 at 5:32 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - The Tallahassee chapter of Sleep in Heavenly Peace partnered with the Tallahassee Fire Department to build 25 bunk beds on Saturday morning.

Getting children off the floor and into a brand new bed is the goal of the nonprofit; it’s a nationwide organization of volunteers that custom makes bunk beds for kids in need.

The June 12 event is part of Bunks Across America, where local chapters participate in the largest bed-building event in a single day.

Lowe’s sponsored the bed building by donating lumber. Organizers said the cost of that material has doubled due to the pandemic.

The 25 bunk beds will create comfortable space for 50 children in the Big Bend.

TFD Cadets were part of the volunteer group.

“I just think it’s a really nice thing to do. It’ll help them get off the ground and into a nice bed,” said Cadet Cooper Lastinger. “There’s different stations, and you can just go through a station and help out.”

TFD Public Information Officer Sarah Cooksey said when they heard about the event, getting involved was a no-brainer.

“From a firefighting perspective, when we’re looking for children in fires, we automatically gravitate toward children in beds. So if these kids are sleeping in beds, it honestly makes it easier for us to look for them,” said Cooksey.

In addition to the bed frame, SHP donated an entire setup.

“It’s the bed frame, the mattresses and a complete set of bedding. So a pillow, a comforter a sheets set,” explained Cooksey.

Sleep in Heavenly Peace Tallahassee President John Cousins said a comfortable place for a child to sleep has far-reaching consequences.

“Many of these kids are sleeping on a floor, on a pallet, three or four sleeping on an old mattress. And what this gives them is their own bed, their own space,” said Cousins. “They get a better night’s sleep, they do better in school, and they eat better.”

Cousins says three percent of the nation’s children don’t have their own bed to sleep in.

“Just look at Leon County, with over 300,000 people. That’s over 10,000 kids just in Leon County,” said Cousins. “Together, we’ve been at this for over two years now; we’re now at over 1300 beds.”

Although Saturday’s event has ended, Sleep in Heavenly Peace is asking for donations of “bed in a bags,” which can be purchased at most department stores. They include comforters, sheets, and other bedding items.

You can find more information to donate or volunteer on their website here.

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