GREEN RIVER– For his Eagle Scout project, Green River teen, Christopher Wilson, teamed up with Sleep in Heavenly Peace (SHP) to build beds for children in the community who are in need of better sleeping arrangements.
SHP and Wilson hosted a build day at the Green River High School wood shop on Saturday, August 17, in which over 30 volunteers joined them in building the beds. Among the volunteers was the Green River High School volleyball team.
Wilson was excited to be able to build beds for his project, and he is looking forward to delivering them to the kids.
“Sleep in Heavenly Peace is a nonprofit organization that builds bunk beds for kids who don’t have beds, and I think that’s a really good idea,” Wilson said. “I’m glad there’s a chapter in Rock Springs and I’m glad that I’m able to do this for my Eagle Scout project. I can’t wait to see all the little kids’ faces when we give the beds to them.”
Wilson said he learned of SHP through Tom and Cindy Jarvie, who are members of the SHP Rock Springs chapter. Wilson did lawn work for the Jarvies over the summer, and they told him about the organization.
“I went to Sleep in Heavenly Peace’s national build day in June, and that’s when I decided that I really wanted to do this,” Wilson said. “Then we started piecing everything together, made a game plan, and now we’re here with tons of volunteers and I don’t know what to do,” he joked.
“He’s got it completely under control,” said Mike Bond, president of the SHP Rock Springs chapter.
Bond said that usually SHP is in charge of everything, but with an Eagle Scout project, Wilson has to head everything.
“Chris has done really well because he’s gone out and raised money, and he’s the one who contacted the volleyball team and found most of the volunteers,” Bond said. “I think there has to be 30 or 40 volunteers in there, and this is the most volunteers we’ve had in two builds so it’s really nice. Chris really pulled through for us.”
Making the Project Possible
Wilson had to raise $1,500, and as of Saturday, he had raised $1,700. Most of the wood was left over from the national build day, Bunks Across America, and twenty mattresses were donated, so a lot of the funds raised is going towards buying bedding. Bond said there are a lot of sponsors in Green River and some in Rock Springs who helped make this project possible.
“We didn’t have the turnout we wanted for the Bunks Across America build, so we had the wood left over,” Bond said. “We figured we’d save it for Chris’s build. Him and his dad were there helping build with us and they were awesome volunteers.”
If the supplies hadn’t already been available, Wilson would have had to raise $3,500.
“Luckily, everything just kind of aligned,” Wilson said.
New Beds After 25 Years of Need
Bond said that all of the beds from Wilson’s build day are going to the youth homes in Green River and Rock Springs.
“They’ve needed beds for 25 years,” Bond said. “They’ve been wanting beds from us and they’ve been raising their own monies for a build day but they haven’t been able to, so when this popped up, we thought we might as well have one kid helping a whole bunch of other ones.”
Wilson’s project will not only help a few kids, but it will help all of the kids who come through the youth homes.
“It gives those kids their own handmade bed while they’re in the youth homes. A lot of those kids are kind of lost going in there, so hopefully knowing we built these beds for them will help them out a little bit,” Bond said.
With the Green River High School volleyball program’s participation in this project, it gives the project even more significance as several of the community’s youth are doing their part in helping out more kids in the community. GRHS head volleyball coach, Rikki Schantz, said she finds it important to instill her team with the passion to serve others.
“I’m just always pleasantly surprised that we have such good kids that are willing to do this stuff. As a coach, it’s just important for me to not only make kids good volleyball players but good people. I think it bleeds over into being good teammates and being there for each other as well,” Schantz said.
Volunteers and Recipients
For anyone who needs a bed, Bond said people can go to shpbeds.org and put in a request for a bed. People can also make requests for other families as well.
Bond also stressed that volunteers are always needed.
“We’re always looking for volunteers,” he said.