One hundred children in Bay County now have their own beds to sleep in at night.
More than 200 local first responders and volunteers with Sleep In Heavenly Peace, a nonprofit organization with chapters across the country, spent Saturday morning and afternoon building 50 bunk beds. Volunteers then delivered the beds to children across the county.
The organization identified families in need through the Bay County Sheriff’s Office’s Facebook page, said John Cousins, president of the group’s Tallahassee chapter. Within 24 hours after posting a flyer online, every bunk bed was claimed, he said.
“The need is huge here,” he said. “We’d like to come back and help, and bring organizations and businesses together to make it happen.”
A large need also exists in Jackson County, he said. The organization is planning to build 14 bunk beds for 28 children in Marianna in a couple of weeks, Cousins said.
To meet the need, which has grown since Hurricane Michael, the organization is looking for additional sponsors and partners that can provide supplies, including lumber, mattresses, pillows and blankets, Cousins said. “Our list just keeps growing,” he said. “We need organizations, not only in Bay County, but in Jackson County.”
Having a bed of their own means more to a child than a good night sleep, Cousins said. “They do better in school. They can have their own quiet time.”