Nonprofit group works to build bunk beds for children Rest assured
By Sean Barron
A Campbell family that includes two children age 4 and 5 likely won’t wait for the holidays to sing the praises of a group with the same name as a line in the famous Christmas tune “Silent Night.”
“It’s worth it to see those guys jump in their beds. That’s the best feeling in the world,” said Dane “Mickey” Carder, who helped start the Youngstown chapter of Sleep in Heavenly Peace.
The 6-year-old Kimberly, Idaho-based nonprofit charity, which adopted the moniker, “No child sleeps on the floor in our town,” enlists volunteers to build, assemble and deliver bunk beds to children and families in need.
A group of SHP members assembled Saturday afternoon at the Celeste Circle home of Emily Leonard, one of the volunteers, to build, then take such a bed to the Campbell family. The occasion also marked the volunteers’ first such project, Carder noted.
After delivering the bunk bed to the family Saturday evening, group members added mattresses and bedding at no cost to them, he explained.
Leonard, who works for GLI Pool Products of Youngstown, was working to build a wooden guide that served as a prototype for the headboards and footboards. A short time later, Carder and others added a network of varying-sized boards that had been cut with a miter saw to both sides, then used drywall screws to secure them.
In addition, the boards were coated with a solution that was a mixture of white vinegar and fine-steel wool, which will preserve their integrity and deter termites and other harmful insects, Carder continued.
“I’m preparing the wood for the boys to put together,” said Brenda Miller of Niles, a school-bus driver who used a power sander for the arduous task of adding a touch of consistent smoothness to the boards.
The beds’ value, however, extends beyond giving youngsters a more comfortable sleeping experience. The effort also is about giving back to others and positively shaping the lives of families in need, explained Jeff Watkins of Cornersburg.
“We’re not just here to put beds into houses,” he said. “We’re here to help get the community together, honestly.”
Prospective volunteers do not have to be adept at cabinetry or woodworking, and can quickly learn the craft, Watkins continued.
SHP also has a partnership with Mahoning County Children Services and intends to develop relationships with area churches and food pantries, said Carder, who’s also spent 20 years in the steel and aluminum businesses.
The local SHP chapter needs volunteers and is accepting donations of bedding, money and tools. To contribute, call Carder at 234-254-0212, visit www.shpbeds.org. or visit the local group’s Facebook page, shpyoungstown.