REEDSPORT — The Gardiner-Reedsport Rotary Club is joining with Sleep in Heavenly Peace, on Saturday, Sept. 7, to build beds for children in the community.
Rotary Club members will be meeting at Reedsport's Foursquare Church, from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. They plan to make 24 twin beds to go to families with children, ages 3-17, who do not have one of their own -- the design of the beds also allows them to be made as bunk beds if needed. According to a press release from the Rotary Club, the beds are free to the recipients and will be delivered to the family's home, and assembled, with a new mattress and new bedding.
"It's a great resource to get kids up off mats on the floor; sometimes they're just on blankets," said Forest Hill, president of the Gardiner-Reedsport Rotary Club.
Both groups welcome the community to participate by bringing new Twin size bedding to the event, or delivering them to the Reedsport Pharmacy and Lower Umpqua Hospital's main entrance Information Desk. Community members can also write a check as a tax deductible donation to the Reedsport Rotary Foundation; checks can be dropped off during the event or mailed to Rotary Club of Reedsport, P.O. Box 91, Reedsport, OR 97467.
Sleep in Heavenly Peace's motto is "No kid sleeps on the floor in our town." The non-profit group has been working since 2012 to ensure all children have a bed to sleep on. Hill noted how important a good night's sleep is to people, and especially kids going to school, and that it can make all the difference in their mood and focus. J.P. Wilson, chapter president for the area, added that having their own bed, rather than sharing with siblings or parents, can be important to a child's sense of independence.
"It's a place that they can call their own, whether they're reading, doing homework, or playing video games; it's their bed," Wilson said.
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Hill recalled going on a bed delivery once, and that it was an amazing, rewarding experience. That experience paired with a visit to the club by a Family Resource Center representative who noted that kid's furniture, and especially beds, are in high demand brought about the idea for the club's participation.
Due to where their warehouses are located, Sleep in Heavenly Peace has a hard time delivering to the coastal areas and usually only make the trip when they have a number of deliveries lined up. After this project, they will have a local stock of beds and bedding ready to be sent out when orders come in.
"We've long wanted to deliver there faster," Wilson said. "It's something we've wanted since we first delivered to the coast."
With this arrangement, the Reedsport Rotary Club will also act as an arm of the area's Sleep in Heavenly Peace chapter. Local volunteers will be set up to deliver and assemble beds when orders come in and they will be kept stocked with beds when they run low.
A bed from Sleep in Heavenly Peace can be requested by filling out an application form at shpbeds.org/request-bed. Applicants should select OR-Umpqua Valley Chapter when prompted. The local supply will be available to families all around the area, though Hill said delivery probably wouldn't go much further south than Coos Bay. Wilson said they would love to have more coastal sponsors hosting builds; Sleep in Heavenly Peace provides all materials for the builds and ensures everyone has training to do various tasks regardless of experience level.