PHOENIX – A Monday morning routine is making an incredible difference in the lives of many families across the Valley.
“I’m finally at a point in my life where I can give more than I take,” said Mike Baleda.
Each week, a group of retirees from the Arizona chapter of Sleep in Heavenly Peace loads their vehicles with support beams, headboards, mattresses and pillows for children in desperate need.
“We see the people that we deliver the bed to, the kids that won’t be on the floor anymore, that’s the best part of it all,” Dan Welch said.
The children were waiting anxiously at the door when the crew arrived on Monday. “My two brothers are going to have the bunk and I’m going to have my own bed,” said a young boy receiving his very first bed.
“When they found out that Sleep in Heavenly Peace was offering beds, I swear I shouldn’t have told them until the day before because every day it’s like mommy comes in with our bunk beds, our beds come in and I’m like not until Monday,” single mother Antonette Cuellar said.
The mother of three boys, like so many others right now, is just trying to get by while trying to give her kids everything she can. Calling for generosity in this life-changing delivery.
“Right now, with these times, it’s really difficult for me, so I couldn’t have gotten beds for my boys, they’ve been sleeping on air mattresses for a long time,” Cuellar said.
Before arriving at homes like hers, every month, community volunteers come together to build the beds out of prefabricated pieces. A process that has become more popular and produces more beds than ever before.
“Our first build, we did twelve beds, that was about three and a half years ago, and now we regularly do 65 to 85,” Baleda said.
These beds are possibly assembled on site during drop-off days.
“It’s so rewarding because we’re meeting the families in their homes,” said Joe Genovese, president of the Sleep in Heavenly Peace Arizona chapter.
Genovese says that in just three years they have donated more than 2,000 beds.
“No child should be sleeping on the floor in our city when we can do something about it, period, end of discussion,” Genovese said.
And thanks to this organization, the children on the other side of the Valley will not have to.