It may be hard to imagine — then, again, in today’s COVID-19 era and economy — perhaps not, but there are children in this country, including Lake County, who have never had or slept in a bed they could (and can) call their own.

To address that locally, Celebrate Recovery, which meets 7 p.m., Thursdays at First United Methodist Church, approached the elders of the church if it would approve and support its desire to address this situation by working with the Orlando Chapter of Sleep in Heavenly Peace.

Aaron Beaseley, who is the group leader of the Celebrate Recovery “chapter” at First United Methodist Church, was doing mission work when he attended a conference of nonprofit organizations. While impressed with most, one stood out above the rest.

“I follow what God tells me, and God told me to get involved with this one,” he said. However, then COVID-19 broke out and put things “on hold.” Then, recently, he received another message from God. “He told me I’ve got to bring this to Celebrate Recovery. They, in turn, presented it to the church. The reception was overwhelmingly positive.

“The whole church signed on,” said Pastor Dawn Carter, FUMC’s congregational care pastor. She looked about as a number of people pegged between 70 to 80 adults, children and youth, were hard at work assembling bed frames. “Isn’t this awesome? It’s incredible.”

“We’re going to build 40 beds today,” said Aaron Beasley, of Celebrate Recovery. Originally, the number of beds was going to be half that, but a miracle changed that. “We raised $11,400 for materials.” 

Considering each bed runs at a cost of approximately $250 to assemble, which includes mattress, linens, pillow and bedspread, that financial response was humbling. 

Work to build beds took place from 7-9 a.m., for unloading and assembling materials, and from 9 a.m.-noon constructing the framework.

On hand to coordinate the construction was Bill Carleton, the president of the Sleep in Heavenly Peace-Orlando West chapter.

“We build beds for children ages 3 to 17 who don’t have a bed of their own,” said Carleton. He learned about the project several years ago viewing a TV show hosted by Mike Rowe, famed for programs such as how things get made (or done), as well as people and organizations that give back, such as “Returning the Favor.”

Carleton was so impressed by the organization, which was started in 2012 in Twin Falls, Idaho, by Luke Mickelson, that he sought to learn more and bring a chapter to Orlando, which he did in 2018. 

With that, Beasley and Carleton went from station to station, offering advice and instruction wherever needed. 

 

HOW THE BEDS WERE MADE

There were seven steps in the process, other than the unloading of materials. After that there were:

• Marking stations (using templates)

• Cutting area• Sanding • Stenciling

• Staining• Drilling • Assembly

At one station, in which the sideboards were first sanded and then dipped into a staining solution made of vinegar and other ingredients, 10-year-old twin brothers Conor and Liam Malaghan were being coached by their dad, Terence.

“Give it a good 10 Mississippi’s,” Terence said.

Both appeared to be enjoying the process.

“I like dipping the wood,” said Liam.

“I think it’s cool,” said Conor.

Elsewhere, Jacob Napoli was branding the pieces of wood for the sideboards, headboards and footboards, which he figured was 50-60 seconds, he was given a suggestion by a Sleep in Heavenly Peace member that would shave several seconds.

Meanwhile, at another station, Carleton was demonstrating how to drill a hole in bedframe. The person seemed hesitant at first, but with Carleton’s instruction and encouragement, soon was hard at work, confidently drilling holes where needed on the frame.

By noon the goal had been reached; actually, it was surpassed and the total number of beds made was 42.

 

ABOUT CELEBRATE RECOVERY

According to Beasley, who is a group leader, Celebrate Recovery is a Christian-based ministry that addresses the needs of people who may be in any number of crises, be it depression, grief, addiction, etc. According to the church’s Facebook page, Celebrate Recovery offers freedom from hurts, hang-ups, and habits through eight healing principles that promise true happiness and life transformation.

To learn more about the national organization, visit: www.celebraterecovery.com

 

ABOUT SLEEP IN HEAVENLY PEACE

Sleep in Heavenly Peace had its start like many other charities, in a garage. It was Christmas time, a time of joy and happiness, a time of giving and love, but also a time of bitter, cold weather and snowstorms. A project, that was started with the build of one bed for a single family developed into something a whole lot more. With wood left over from the first bunk, another idea was created. “Who else could benefit from this bunk?”

A simple post on Facebook sparked an unexpected response. What was thought would be a litter of requests from needy families, turned into a litany of local people eager to help and volunteer. The generosity of these volunteers was so surprising that it was no longer a search for one who needed a bed, but a question of how many beds we could provide. From there, the idea grew into reality: We can make a difference.

SHP is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Our federal ID is 46-4346568 in the United States.

It’s motto is: No kid sleeps on the floor in my town.

To learn more, visit: www.shpbeds.org

 

 

Recommended for you