By Mayukh Saha / Truth Theory
A simple endeavor that Luke Mickelson undertook to help one family moved him to take a drastic decision. Way back in 2012, Luke engaged in a heartening project along with his family to build and present beds to the community children who were forced to sleep on the floor.
The first bed was for a little girl who used to sleep on a pile of clothes. She loved her bed so much that she clung onto the bed and wouldn’t let go!
Luke was pained to discover that the need was widely prevalent in his small and close-knit community. He decided to devote his time and energy to build more such beds for children in need. Thus was born Sleep In Heavenly Peace. This non-profit builds beds and delivers them to kids in need.
The first time he came to know of this problem, he was shocked. The enormity of the problem left him troubled and he resolved to do something about it.
Mickelson, 41, was born in Idaho. He was a quarterback in high school and is now a family man. He is religious and had a thriving and successful career but still had time to coach the sports team of his children and fish in the river nearby. But the realization that children were forced to sleep on the floor troubled him enough to change his peaceful life.
Beds in many homes are a luxury as families struggle to even feed and provide clothes for the children. Luke trained himself using his daughter’s bed as a reference and by following safety manuals. He bought wood and other supplies from his pocket. He inspired his friends and other family members to join in the effort.
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Word spread fast and other people from even faraway places joined in the effort. Mickelson’s output grew by leaps and bounds. It started with 11 beds in the first year and 15 in the second. But in 2017 alone, his non-profit managed to build over 600 bunk beds!
Mickelson started a formal charity where he imparted training and gave out construction manuals. He set up local chapters of Sleep In Heavenly Peace that helped to spread the movement from coast to coast.
The motto of the non-profit is “No kid sleeps on the floor in our town.” Within these years it has grown to 65 chapters and they have contributed 1,500 beds across America.
But Mickelson had to make the tough choice to give up his career and devote himself full time to the cause. He has not regretted his decision. He realized that his needs were not merely financial. Instead, it was seeing the joy on the face of the kids as they received their gift.
His non-profit, Sleep In Heavenly Peace now has a system in place where the applicant applies through the website which then gets vetted. They receive over 25 applications each day. The whole effort is run by volunteers and Mickelson himself takes no salary. Just the joy of seeing the children’s faces when they receive the bunk bed is what keeps him going.
Image credit: shpbeds