REEDSPORT -- Dozens of volunteers from around the region turned up to Reedsport's Foursquare Church Saturday to build beds at an event hosted by the Gardiner-Reedsport Rotary Club and Sleep in Heavenly Peace.
The build ran like a well-oiled machine. Community members of all ages and walks of life showed up to help and even the most inexperienced volunteers pulled their weight. The volunteers were grouped into an assembly line. One group cut lengths of wood, another prepared holes for drilling, a third station assembled the pieces of the bed frame, the next stained them and the final station marked a brand on the beds before loading them onto a trailer.
"The whole process is done to where there's little thought process and it should be like an exact production line," said Kim Wilson, co-president of the Roseburg chapter of Sleep in Heavenly Peace.
Sleep in Heavenly Peace's motto is "No kid sleeps on the floor in our town." The nonprofit group has been working since 2012 to ensure all children have a bed to sleep on. A bed from Sleep in Heavenly Peace can be requested by filling out an application form at shpbeds.org/request-bed.
Community volunteers and members of SHP grouped together at each station. If people were unfamiliar with what to do for a job, they were given a quick course in the process. Many of the kids at the event were drawn to the branding station, where an adult from SHP was carefully managing the fire and ensuring nobody was hurt.
SHP worked a smooth operation. Though they were set up in the Foursquare Church parking lot, they did not use the church's power, bringing their own generators and extension cords. They also cleaned up as they went. As stations finished for the day, they swept sawdust and organic debris into a field adjacent to the parking lot. Larger, or non-biodegradable debris was vacuumed up and disposed of later. Wilson recalled past build hosts have said they left the site cleaner than when they arrived.
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In all, the group constructed 24 twin beds, which could be paired for 12 bunk beds. Once everything was completed, they moved the beds to storage space at the Reedsport School District.
Aside from volunteers from SHP and the Rotary Club, there were also volunteers from all around the area. A group from a new Sleep in Heavenly Peace chapter from Washington was also helping, so they could learn how to run builds in their area.
"It's amazing how many people from the community showed up today," said Forest Hill, president of the Rotary Club. "Reedsport's heart is really at work today."
Several sets of new bedding were also delivered during the build, as well as check donations. The Reedsport Lions Club, the American Legion and several private donors provided sheets and money to support the effort.
The completed beds, and bedding, will be stored in Reedsport and used for deliveries around the South Coast. This makes the process more convenient than bringing everything from Roseburg each trip. J.P. Wilson, the other co-president of SHP, said he would like to eventually see a local chapter on the coast, or a satellite branch of the Roseburg chapter. He noted it can be tough to make it to the area for deliveries and the convenience of the new beds would go a long way.