ROANOKE, Va. – Dave Jones is making sure kids have a place to sleep.
“It all started because I like to work with power tools,” said Jones, who started a chapter of Sleep in Heavenly Peace in December to give beds to Roanoke Valley children sleeping on the floor.
Volunteers come together on a Saturday morning sanding, hammering and staining 15 bunk beds to give to families for free.
“We all could be in these situations where things aren’t going right in our life but the children they don’t have any control over that,” said Jon
“These are sort of hidden people,” said Carol Elmore, with Oak Grove Church of the Brethren who takes referrals for families in need. “I have three kids sleeping on the floor, or I have four children in a bed, or my son is sleeping with his grandmother because he doesn’t have a bed and my neighbors also can you please bring the beds for my neighbors?”
Once the beds are built, they’re delivered to families and set up. You can see the huge smiles as the kids finally have their own place to sleep.
“The reason that it’s bunk beds is because most of the time-space is a problem. A lot of situations there may be a very small bedroom, four children sleeping on the floor on one mattress or something like that,” said Jones.
Pete Moses has a special tradition on each delivery. He asks the child to write the date on the bed. He says the goal is when they look at the bed years later, they will remember someone cared about them.
“The kids are trying to learn, they’re trying to see how life goes and to see somebody come in that has no particular reward just to come in and give them something that they desperately need is rewarding for the giver and it’s rewarding for the child,” said Moses.
“They do better in school, they feel better about themselves. I just think they have a better life if they have a bed,” said Jones.
“They’re always grateful and overwhelmed by people coming to give them something we think that normal and every day. It’s a big deal,” said Elmore. “I really live quite extravagantly compared to people who are my neighbors. To be able to get a kid off the floor means an awful lot to me.”
“No kid sleeps on the floor in our town,” said Jones.
There is a waiting list for beds. Some chapters across the country have waiting lists of 300 or more. $350 covers the cost of the bunk bed, mattresses, sheets, comforters, and pillows.
If you are interested in getting a bed, go here and click on “request a Bed”. There’s a short application for people who live in Roanoke City, Roanoke County, Salem and Franklin County.
If you are interested in volunteering or donating money or new bedding contact Dave Jones at email@example.com