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Nonprofit builds beds for NRV kids in need

Published: Apr. 24, 2021 at 6:16 PM EDT
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CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. (WDBJ) - Across our hometowns, it’s estimated three to four percent of children ages three through 17 do not have beds to sleep in each night. Sleep in Heavenly Peace is an international nonprofit dedicated to filling that need, and Saturday, one of its newer chapters was hard at work building beds for children in the New River Valley.

The rain didn’t keep spirits down at Saturday’s bed build and that’s because of the hard work of 40 volunteers. Now, 20 children in the New River Valley will have beds to sleep in.

In an assembly line fashion — two by fours make their way from person to person to become beds.

“We’re building beds for kids that families would not be able to afford beds otherwise,” Blacksburg Baptist Church Senior Pastor Tommy McDearis said.

Which is why Blacksburg Baptist Church wanted to help. The church raised funds to buy the materials and gathered volunteers — Sleep in Heavenly Peace provides the tools and supervision.

“We try to do it any time Paul asks to help,” McDearis said.

Paul Mele founded the NRV chapter and has helped build more than 200 beds since the fall. He is a member at Blacksburg Baptist and wanted to involve his church, where poverty missions are a big part of how it serves the community.

“We’re having a great time in here today with fellowship, building beds that we know are going to help the community,” Mele said. “I’m blessed to get to go on those deliveries and see the impact we make in a family’s life.”

Volunteers build as many beds as the sponsor can afford, to change a child’s life.

“Anytime you can get back to your community you’re making a difference, and people need to make a difference, particularly in times like we have had like this,” McDearis said.

While the build was happening, a group delivered one bed to a little girl in the NRV Saturday afternoon.

“I know there’s kids right now we can’t find that are sleeping on the floor,” Mele said. “Our motto is simple, no kid sleeps on the floor in our town. Will we ever get there? I don’t know, but we’re sure we’re working hard on it.”

A bed delivery includes a new mattress, pillow, sheets, comforter and sometimes a toy so the bed is ‘sleep ready’ when volunteers are done installing it. You do not need to meet any income requirements for your child to qualify for a bed. If you need a bed, Mele said this group will get you a bed.

The NRV chapter does not have an indoor space for builds to keep the assembly line set up and for storage. Mele said a local company donates a 10 x 25 space for storage, but they are in need for more space to keep the nonprofit going.

There is another mass bed build at Belmont Christian Church on Sunday to make 100 more.

The rest of the beds from Saturday will go to children who are on a waitlist, but Mele said there are many more children in need out there. If you know of a family in need you can contact Paul Mele:

By Email: paul.mele@shpbeds.org

NRV Donation Site: http://weblink.donorperfect.com/va-newrivervalley

Online: shpbeds.org

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