At Thursday’s meeting of the Carmi Rotary Club, the Rotarians learned about a new organization in the area; Sleep in Heavenly Peace”. White County director, Kyle Fenton was on hand to tell the club about his badly needed service.
This charitable organization was founded in 2012 in Utah, as an answer to children sleeping on floors and couches due to financial hardships suffered by parents and grandparents. The group got a gigantic boost in 2017 when “Dirty Jobs” host Mike Rowe joined their organization as a major spokesman and sponsor. Last year, nation-wide, Sleep in Heavenly Peace provided over 16,000 beds to under privileged children across the nation.
Today, Sleep in Heavenly Peace has chapters in all 50 states, and the newly formed White County chapter joins two other Illinois groups: Rend Lake and Metro East.
The first major event for the local chapter will be held on Saturday, March 21st at Rice Motors in Carmi. That day volunteers will be needed to assemble beds for children in our area. No experience is necessary, just willing hands. The work will kick-off at 8:30am and wrap up promptly at 1:00pm. That day, volunteers will be busy building beds that will be stored until they are delivered to needy folks around our area.
Kyle stated, that we have a good security blanket for food, for clothing, even for housing, but many times something as simple as a decent bed is missing from young people’s lives. He pointed out that the poverty rate in our area is 18%, much higher than the national average. He told stories of people who have told him they are raising their grandchildren now, but have no bedding for them. He told of folks telling him they had grown up without ever having a bed or a bedroom. Unbelievably, this is still a problem in our area today.
Kyle stressed that there are several ways to help. You can simply donate money to help buy supplies, you can sponsor a child: $150 will provide a bed for a young person, and bunk beds can be built for$350. Of course, anyone can volunteer by showing up on March 21 to help build the beds also.
He stated that many times people would like to donate used bedding, and although it would be appreciated, due to health laws, any mattresses, sheets, pillows or pillowcases must be new.
If you would like to learn more about this project or would like to sign up to help in some way, contact Kyle Fenton at: [email protected] or call him at: 217-299-1557
In club business, the Rotarians are wrapping up plans for the Spring Trivia contest. This year’s Spring event will be held on Saturday, March 7th, at the American Legion in Carmi. Anyone wishing to enter a four-person team can simply show up and pay the night of the event. Cost for a team is only forty dollars, and there will be cash prizes to the top three teams of the night. Doors open around 5:00 with the first question at 6:00pm.
Cindy Conley won the 50/50 drawing but did not claim the day’s cash jackpot, meaning it will roll over to next week’s drawing. Lyn Stephens was named as the day’s phantom.
The Carmi Rotary club meets every Thursday at noon at the First United Methodist Church on Main Street in Carmi. Anyone wishing to learn more about this civic organization is welcome to attend a meeting or speak with any Carmi Rotarian.
Story provided by Randy Adams