Just because it doesn’t make national news doesn’t mean it’s not a problem – often the most serious problems can be found in the home, and it can be as simple as a child not having the comfort of his or her own bed.
Jerry Baker welcomed Valerie Goodman to the WEIS Radio Morning Show Tuesday – to talk about the organization she’s involved with and what they do:
Valerie said their goal is to help children who up until now have had to sleep on the floor, in recliners, on couches, been forced to sleep in overcrowded conditions with four children to a bed, to sleep on blow up mattresses and even blow up pool floats.
Poverty does exist right in our own back yard, and when forced to decide between food and a new bed, the choice is clear – however, every child does deserve a safe, comfortable place to sleep and get a good night’s rest for both their physical and emotional health.
It’s seems so simple, everyone takes it for granted. Who doesn’t have a bed?
Valerie Goodman has a long waiting list to show you – and its growing every day.
Want to make that list shrink until it disappears? Contact Sleep in Heavenly Peace at (205) 383-6592 or visit their Facebook page.
For additional information – and to hear the interview in its entirety – click the link below:
Our core mission is simply: No kid sleeps on the floor in our town! Period. Not on our watch!
Our chapter officially launched the last week of May of this year. In 2 1/2 months we have built and delivered 120 beds to kids in a 50-mile radius of Gadsden. We have another 265 kids on the waiting list that have been vetted and approved. The list continues to grow and we are receiving bed request almost daily now. We are building 40 beds 08/24 in Rainbow City. We’re simply humans helping humans – we’re making sure that children sleep better.
All children deserve a safe, comfortable place to lay their heads. There are too many boys and girls going without the comforts of a bed – or even a pillow – to sleep on. These children end up sleeping on couches, blankets, and even directly on the floors. This can affect their happiness, as well as their emotional and physical health.
That’s where Sleep in Heavenly Peace comes in. Were a group of volunteers dedicated to building, assembling and delivering top-notch bunk beds to children and families in need.
Our organization has grown steadily over time, and we’re currently working on opening more chapters in different states to serve more people. SHP began in Kimberly, ID and now spans across the U.S. and even into Canada with over 160 chapters. In Alabama, there are now 3 chapters. Hartselle was the first, Gadsden was the second, and the Muscle Shoals chapter launched just last week. Awareness is growing and the communities are beginning to realize just how huge the need is.
I knew that there were children who were sleeping in undesirable conditions, but I never knew the magnitude of it in our area until we got involved with this organization.
Not every home we go into is extreme poverty, but, it does exist – it exists right here in our own backyard.
- There are the twin seven-year-old boys living in a condemned trailer their mom bought for $300. They didn’t have any water or indoor plumbing – and their reality left me completely stunned at what my eyes had just witnessed.
- The 12-year-old girl who had NEVER had a bed of her own.
- The 15-year-old boy who had been sleeping on a recliner.
- Four siblings who had all shared one couch.
- The 3-year old little girl who slept with her mom in a recliner while her 5-year old brother slept on the couch next to them.
- The mom fleeing domestic abuse with her 5 kids, starting over with nothing but hope and faith.
- The children sleeping on blow-up mattresses.
- The parents looking for redemption, trying to make things right and turn their lives around.
- The grandma raising her 4 grandchildren, barely able to keep food on the table
- The grandma raising her 5 grandchildren who never thought this would be her story at this point in her life.
- The children trapped in perpetuating cycles of addiction and poverty.
- The family who lost everything in a fire.
- The foster mom trying to reunite a sibling group who had been separated in the system.
- The 5-year old little girl who declared, “this is the best day ever!”
- The 7-year old little boy who shouted, “I’ll be sleeping TALL tonight.”
- The mom with tears in her eyes, so filled with gratitude that all she can say is “thank you” over and over.
- The single mom with her 15-year old special needs daughter.
- The 15-year old girl saving wood to build her own bed one day.
- The 15-year old sleeping in what appeared to be a closet.
- The 4 siblings sleeping on pallets on the floor every single night.
- The 6-year old that would be removed from her grandmother’s home if they didn’t have a bed within a week.
- The children so eager to help carry in the lumber and bedding, thrilled to help assemble their beds – the children that acted as we had handed them the moon – yet it was a bed – A BED!
- The children sleeping on blow-up pool floats.
Yes, we get tired sometimes, but this fire burns deep within us. It’s a fire that cannot be extinguished, but rather continues to blaze. And every time someone comes along side us, joins the team, joins the effort, joins the movement, it fans the flame. Every time someone donates a dollar, sponsors a bunk, sponsors a build, host a build, volunteers, advocates, donates a comforter, a sheet set, a pillow, a stuffed animal, makes a blanket or a pillowcase with love – it fans a flame and it becomes a wildfire that is roaring through our community.
You see, that’s the thing about generosity. Generosity begets more of the same. It’s contagious. Kindness is contagious. So is hatred and indifference. I choose to spend my life in generosity and kindness. I have chosen the other before and it did not work so well. I choose to spend my life on others. Why not?!
One of the things I love most about SHP is that it is more than just a bed. It is so much more than a bed. Yes, our core mission is simple – to make sure that no child is on the floor in our community, not on our watch anyway – not when there is something I can do about that. But SHP is bringing people together. The community is coming together and building a stronger community together. We are seeing lives changed, restored, and relationships healed through the hands-on effort and approach of SHP.
Providing this platform, facilitating these opportunities through build-days is literally building stronger communities and brighter futures for everyone involved.
Mother Theresa is famous for many quotes. There are two that have become
favorites of mine.
1) If you love until it hurts, then love some more, there can be no more hurt, only more love.
2) The greater good is that which we do for another.
To help those who could never repay you, that is what I call truly living. SHP has allowed my husband and I to come alive inside. We never had truly lived until this moment. And that is why I do what I do. It brought me to life!