This organization is new to Eastern Idaho and already it is making an impact. It's motto? "No Kid Sleeps on the Floor in Our Town." And the members are making sure of it. KIDK Eyewitness News 3 wanted to see how they do and to "Pay It Forward."
Sleep in Heavenly Peace is the name of the organization. For many of us, it is a phrase we are used to singing, but for this group, it is their literal mission statement.
"A place to sleep and be safe at night is critical," said Levi Shaffer, president of the Rexburg Chapter.
Especially if you're a kid.
"And our town is whatever we're in, wherever we're building and making sure that those kids are taken care of," said Shaffer.
They make hand-made bunk beds for kids that don't have a bed of their own. The organization was founded in Kimberly, Idaho in 2011. Since then, it has expanded to seven chapters, with the newest addition in Rexburg. They've held community builds where volunteers can come and help build the beds. The latest project was at Lowe's in Idaho Falls after posting it on justserve.org and social media.
"People showed up. So yeah, it's been incredible," said Shaffer.
People like the Idaho Falls Kiwanis Club.
"This is an amazing opportunity for us. Kiwanis focuses on youth in the community, so this is right up the alley of what we do. So we are happy to help so that kids aren't sleeping on the floor," said Jessica Baksis, president of the Idaho Falls Kiwanis Club.
Even young teens were donating their Saturday morning.
"And to build as many beds as we are building here, I think that's amazing. It's pretty cool," said Wyatt Gates, a 15-year-old.
And Lowe's jumped on board to host it.
"This is something we love to do every single year, giving back to the community. What a wonderful thing we have here. I think it's great. We have the whole community come out," said Billy Skinner, assistant store manager of Lowe's in Idaho Falls.
KIDK Eyewitness News 3 anchor Todd Kunz went with the group on a delivery and setup of three beds. Even the mattresses and bedding are provided by community businesses.
KIDK Eyewitness New 3 invited Shaffer and his wife to the TV station on a different day to surprise them and to "Pay It Forward."
"We've built another 500 beds. So that's pretty drastic steps," said Shaffer.
"Levi, how are you?" said a man walking up the sidewalk and interrupting the interview.
"Doing good," said Shaffer.
"Good. My name is Kory. I'm with Mountain America Credit Union," said Korry Carling.
"Hello Kory," said Shaffer.
"We've heard about all you're doing in our community and the beds you're providing and for this reason, I'm here today on behalf of Mountain America to Pay it Forward," said Carling.
"OK," replied Shaffer.
"So I've brought with me today $500 in cash that I know that you can use and put towards providing more beds for our community," said Carling.
"Thank you," said Shaffer.
"So thank you for all that you do," said Carling.
"Alright. Thank you." said Shaffer.
"You're welcome," replied Carling.
From Dec. 2012 through Jan. 2017, the entire Sleep In Heavenly Peace organization made 600 beds. The Rexburg chapter came along in Mar. 2017. Since that time until present, the whole organization has made another 500 beds in just five months time. So the Rexburg chapter is carrying them pretty well.
And you can help. If you are interested in volunteering, call Sleep In Heavenly Peace locally at 208-557-4115.
"Pay It Forward" airs the second Wednesday of every month. If you know of a nonprofit organization or someone who deserves to be recognized for their contributions to the area, click on "Pay It Forward" on the right side of our website and fill out the form, or send an email to KIDK Eyewitness News 3 anchor Todd Kunz at firstname.lastname@example.org.