Northern Wyoming Daily News - Serving the Big Horn Basin for over 100 years

By Karla Pomeroy
Editor 

'I'm getting a bunk bed'

Local Sleep in Heavenly Peace chapter provides beds to 30 children in initial drive

 

August 17, 2018

Karla Pomeroy

Camden Denton, 3, checks out his new bed provided by the Big Horn Basin Chapter of Sleep in Heavenly Peace on Tuesday afternoon in Worland.

WORLAND -Bright-eyed 3-year-old Camden Denton proclaimed Tuesday "I'm getting a bunk bed."

In fact, Tuesday night Camden and his older sister, Brailynn, 9, got to sleep in their own beds at their home in Worland, and their first bunk beds.

The Dentons mother, Lainie said she and her husband and their two children recently moved to Worland from Greybull after having to leave their home. Lainie's sister-in-law provided the family a trailer in the 2000 block of Robertson when they were in need of housing.

It is a small two-bedroom trailer and Lainie said they didn't have funding for beds for both children. Brailynn had a mattress in one room and Camden was sleeping with his parents.

That all changed once Brailynn saw a Facebook post about the Big Horn Basin Chapter of Sleep in Heavenly Peace. She filled out the application and Tuesday, chapter organizers Dan and Nancy Frederick and Sleep in Heavenly Peace volunteer Chuck Glade put together the bunk beds and made up the beds with mattress, mattress cover, sheets, comforter, pillow and pillow case.

Brailynn, as the oldest gets the top bunk, with sheets filled with hearts and a butterfly comforter. Camden announced he got the bottom bunk, with blue sheets and a comforter with blue geometric shapes.

The smiles on Camden's and Brailynn's faces showed the excitement they had to be able to "sleep in heavenly peace" Tuesday night in their own beds.

Lainie said she was also exited. "It's pretty amazing what they are doing. For people who can't afford it, it's a chance for them to have beds and be warm and comfortable."

After hearing numerous thank you's from the children and Lainie, the Fredericks, who started the chapter earlier this summer, said as they exited the house, "Sleep in heavenly peace."

Nancy Frederick said, "Some of these kids haven't had a bed, or they are in tough situations. That's their own space besides just a good bed to sleep in."

Dan Frederick added, "They may not realize that now but over the years they'll discover that [the bed is their own personal space]

Nancy added that having all new bedding adds to the excitement for the children.

BACKGROUND

According to the website, shpbeds.org, Sleep in Heavenly Peace (SHP had its start in Luke Mickelson's garage in Idaho. 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"?

According to the website "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."

Dan Frederick said SHP continues to grow nationally and there are currently 100 chapters that are either active or just starting up. There are still only two chapters in Wyoming, the Big Horn Basin chapter in Worland and a chapter in Rock Springs.

The need in the Big Horn Basin is much larger than the Fredericks initially thought.

Dan Frederick found out about SHP by watching a Facebook episode of Mike Rowe's "Returning the Favor" in which SHP and the work they are doing for children was featured.

Dan said his first thought was, "There can't be a need around here; not in this day and age. But it bothered me. I thought 'could that be."

Dan Frederick said as the thought of children in the area not sleeping in a bed continued to bother him, and Nancy they began talking to people in the community to see if there was a need.

"We found out there is a big need for that, for all sorts of situations. Once I found out there was a need, I just said well we can do something about this. This is something we can change," Dan Frederick said.

Nancy Frederick said, "It's definitely a bigger need than we initially thought, but we'll continue as long as we have kids that need beds."

The official motto for SHP is "no kid sleeps on the floor in my town tonight."

The Fredericks look at the Big Horn Basin as their town.

The bunk bed delivered Tuesday was one of 15 bunk beds the Sleep in Heavenly Peace chapter has delivered around the Basin. The Fredericks said they have helped 30 children "sleep in heavenly peace" in Worland, Greybull, Thermopolis and Byron.

Nancy Frederick said they have several requests from Powell that they currently are unable to fill.

Dan said the reason most of the beds have been delivered in the southern part of the Basin is because that's where they have had the most exposure.

As they begin to get more beds and are able to meet more needs they will increase their exposure in the northern part of the Basin, he said.

Karla Pomeroy

Brailynn Denton, 9, (right) is all smiles after climbing up on her new bunk bed with her cousin, Naomi McCormick, Tuesday. The beds were provided free by the Big Horn Basin Chapter of Sleep in Heavenly Peace.

A pre-build work day was held Wednesday and the next build day will be Saturday, Aug. 25 at the Frederick home in Worland.

Dan Frederick said they should be able to build another 20 beds. Volunteers are always welcome and are asked to plan on a work day from 7 a.m. to noon.

He said the next build is sponsored by Newell B. Sargent Foundation.

"We know we're going to have to do more builds so we will need more donations of money and bedding," the Fredericks said.

Donations of new twin-size bedding (sheet set, pillow, comforter) may be dropped off at Hake Realty or Grace Lutheran Church.

Dan and Nancy said the response from the community on donations and volunteering has "been incredible." Nancy added that people have been "very eager to help."

Nancy Frederick added, "It just warms my heart to know you can make a difference in people's lives."

 
 

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