WHITEHALL, Wis. (WKBT) - Gundersen Tri-County staff were volunteering their time to build beds for children in Trempealeau County on Wednesday.
About 40 staff members constructed 20 beds at Melby Park Pavilion in Whitehall. The beds will support Sleep in Heavenly Peace, a national non-profit organization.
Sleep in Heavenly Peace volunteers build and deliver twin or bunk beds to children ages 3 to 17 who sleep in undesirable conditions, including on the floor, couch, an air mattress or with family members. Each bed comes with a mattress, linens, comforter and a pillow.
Last year, 14,780 volunteers nationwide constructed more than 4,000 bunk beds for 9,253 children. The organization receives about 60 requests for a bed each day.
Larry Guthrie, coordinator for Trempealeau County's Sleep in Heavenly Peace chapter, said the beds built by Gundersen staff will find homes quick. The local chapter has delivered 133 beds since September.
"I couldn't imagine that there was that great of a need," Guthrie said. "I thought that surely 100 beds would provide every child with a safe comfortable place to sleep, but I was wrong. The requests just keep coming in. It appears that with the transitional lifestyle of many families, the need may be never ending."
Whether a child gets an adequate amount of sleep has a direct impact on their overall physical and mental development, according to the National Sleep Foundation.
"Ensuring children have beds to sleep in fits with Gundersen's strategy to improve the health of our communities," said Gundersen Tri-County Chief Executive Officer Joni Olson. "Volunteering for a shift to build a bed is a great way for our staff to participate in the project, while contributing to the wellbeing of children in Trempealeau County. I am proud of everyone involved."
To request a bed, volunteer or donate to Sleep in Heavenly Peace, visit www.shpbeds.org
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