Ozarks Life: Helping area kids sleep in heavenly peace
Exeter non-profit builds beds for area kids who sleep on couches, chairs, or floors.
CASSVILLE, Mo. (KY3) - On a Saturday afternoon in Cassville, the Crowder College Community Building is buzzing.
“We’re building 20 beds today,” volunteer Teresa Alverson said.
Sleep in Heavenly Peace is a non-profit organization making sure kids have something we all take for granted; a place to lay our heads at night.
“Most of us just think that (a bed is) just something you have,” volunteer Christopher Smith said.
“The need has been so great that we’re trying to build up our inventory,” Alverson added.
These volunteers say in Barry County, about 3% of kids don’t have a bed to call their own. Some share a bed. For others, it’s nights spent on a couch, in a chair, or on the floor.
“I think that’s over 1,000 (kids) that do not have their own bed,” Alverson said, “so one bed at a time we’re trying to alleviate that.”
“I’m definitely blessed to have such a program,” Cassville resident Jerry Tate said.
Jerry is spending his Saturday sanding pieces that could soon become one of his grandkids’ beds.
“(Sleep in Heavenly Peace) is donating two beds to my grandchildren, my seven-year-old and six-year-old,” Tate said. “So I decided to come out and donate my time.”
The Exeter Chapter has roughly 40 volunteers. They meet once a quarter to fill the requests they get from Exeter, Cassville, and Wheaton. Exeter is just one of about 300 chapters spread across 44 states.
“Our area’s pretty poverty-stricken,” Smith said. “From working with family support in the past, I’ve seen a lot of those families. So it was really easy to get behind (this organization).”
And area businesses, banks, and schools have helped out with donations. Exeter Elementary recently had a bedding drive.
“Not only do we provide the beds, but we provide new mattresses, comforters, sheets, pillows, all of that,” Alverson said. “So when we put it all together and then the kids come in... they just jump on the bed.”
No doubt the kids and these volunteers will all now sleep in heavenly peace.
“It’s been so amazing,” Alverson said.
“There’s just nothing quite like seeing absolute happiness out of a child,” Smith added. “Because you know, it’s pure and true.”
We have six chapters in the Ozarks; all of them are in Missouri. Along with Exeter, there’s Springfield, Marshfield, Mansfield, Table Rock Lake, and Rolla.
For information on how to donate or volunteer, click here to visit the Sleep in Heavenly Peace website to find a location near you.
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