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This Denton nonprofit is building and delivering beds to children in need, no questions asked

The nonprofit Sleep in Heavenly Peace hosts one build day a month at Willwood Church of the Nazarene in Denton and welcomes any volunteers. They build beds for children who don't have one.
Courtesy Photo
Sleep in Heavenly Peace via Facebook
The nonprofit Sleep in Heavenly Peace hosts one build day a month at Willwood Church of the Nazarene in Denton and welcomes any volunteers. They build beds for children who don't have one.

Nearly two years have passed since Mike Ferrell, an employee at Peterbilt, searched for a way to help children in need when his pastor at Willowwood Church of the Nazarene in Denton told him about Sleep in Heavenly Peace.

Sleep in Heavenly Peace is a nonprofit out of Twin Falls, Idaho, that builds beds for children who don’t have beds of their own. Founded in 2012, the nonprofit has more than 350 chapters around the country and celebrated the milestone of 200,000 beds delivered in May.

Ferrell researched the nonprofit and decided to start a chapter in Denton in October 2022 to help families in Denton and Wise counties. They’ve built 115 beds for children as of late June.

“Now, we have over 250 beds requested and can’t build them as fast as the requests are coming,” Ferrell says.

All that people need to do is apply for a bed either on the chapter’s website or Facebook page. There is no income requirement, Ferrell says.

The only thing Ferrell says they need is a place to put the bed for the children between the ages of 3 and 17, and someone 18 or older to be home when they deliver it. It’s a first come, first served situation, he says.

Ferrell’s pastor, Rev. Ken Tesch, first heard about Sleep in Heavenly Peace about eight years ago when he was at a church in upstate New York. He helped to start one of the chapters there.

“One of the neatest things about it is a lot of homes are working single parents, a single mom with her kids and struggling to make ends meet and working two jobs yet she falls through the cracks because she makes too much for social services and the rent in Denton and inflation takes a huge chunk of their money,” Tesch says.

“Sometimes they are fleeing domestic violence, and children don’t have beds. They’re sleeping on piles of clothes or couch cushions, and we’re delivering the beds for the kids, which is really remarkable.”

Tesch started telling the story of Sleep in Heavenly Peace with members of his congregation shortly after he moved to Texas about five years ago.

Ferrell became interested, and they began discussions to start a chapter in Denton.

“The more he talked about it, the more he thought it would be a good idea,” Tesch says.

Since the chapter started in 2022, Tesch says Ferrell has “gone above and beyond any goals we set.”

Their efforts have even inspired a chapter to form in the Whitesboro area.

“A child that is able to sleep at night and eat good food changes the direction of a child’s life. It really makes a difference,” Tesch says. “You would think in America, we would have beds for children, but there are thousands of children every night who go to sleep without a bed.”

With the help of volunteers from the church and the community, Ferrell says that they build the beds, a mixture of single and bunk, on a Saturday morning each month at the Willowwood Church of the Nazarene. They spend the rest of the Saturdays in a month delivering them.

“A lot of people have a misconception that bunk beds don’t come apart,” Ferrell says. “But ours are two single beds stacked on top of each other with a pin holding the legs together. So they can get single beds or make them a bunk bed.”

Ferrell says the most bed they’ve built in a day was 10. It depends on how many volunteers show up to help. They are seeking more volunteers and for people who want to become active in the chapter to help them with their mission.

To succeed in their mission, Ferrell says they receive donations and material from local businesses such as Lowe’s, which Ferrell says is a major contributor. They also accept community donations.

The organization’s next volunteer build day is on July 13 at the church in Denton, and volunteers can register now to help out.

In late June, Ferrell says they delivered five beds to a family who had lost their house to a fire. They were thrilled, he says, and couldn’t believe they were getting the beds for free.

They don’t just get the bed frames but also the mattresses, which aren’t cheap, and a pillow and blanket, which is all brand new.

“They thought it was a scam,” Ferrell says. “That’s what makes it worth it. We’re giving this to the kids. Regardless of how the parents use their money, we’re giving it to the kids.”