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Organization Builds Beds For Families in Need

By Tyronda James

Volunteers from Sleep in Heavenly Peace’s Bed Build held on the organization’s lot at Lyell and Otis in Rochester. Photo provided.

A local organization wants to make sure that children who do not have beds, are provided with comfortable beds to sleep in.

Beyond the Sanctuary (BTS), a community service organization that serves Rochester and Monroe County residents, are seeking volunteers to aid the organization in a day of building beds for local children who are in need of them.

BTS recently hosted a bed building event on Saturday, July, 10 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Memorial AME Zion Church, 549 Clarissa St.  It was in partnership with the Rochester chapter of the national nonprofit Sleep in Heavenly Peace (SHP) comprised of chapters and volunteers who build, assemble, and deliver top-notch bunk beds and single beds to children.

“We are proud to partner with Sleep in Heavenly Peace to provide comfort to local children,” said BTS Executive Director, Carmen Allen. 

“Through collaborative efforts like this, we make a difference in the lives of those who need help the most.”

Approximately 50 volunteers came together for sanding wood, assembling headboards and side rails and additional tasks. Volunteers worked with a core group of trained volunteer staff and with the assistance of various volunteers and support of Finger Lakes Tram, Wegmans Food Markets and Lowe’s Home Improvements, the organization’s goal was to build a total of 20 beds (10 bunks).

Volunteer members came from Memorial AME Zion Church, BTS and from other city churches. Those interested in volunteering can contact BTS at or by calling 585-512-8911.

Last month on June 12, the SHP’s Rochester chapter and more than 100 local volunteers participated as part of the national effort, “Bunks Across America” to make 50 beds locally. The event was sponsored by Lowe’s Macedon, Finger Lakes Tram and Rochester Optical.

Joining 150 chapters across the country who have built more than 7,500 beds for kids,  so far, SHP Rochester has delivered over 130 beds locally.

Volunteers from Sleep in Heavenly Peace’s June 2021 Bed Build held on the organization’s lot at Lyell and Otis in Rochester. Photo provided.

Donna Ritchie, president of the Rochester chapter said the SHP tagline is ‘No kid sleeps on the floor in our town.’ “We want to do everything we can to make that possible in Rochester,” she said.

“We hope to make our community aware that many children experience “bedlessness” and that these sturdy beds are one solution.”

The SHP Rochester chapter delivers beds to children who don’t have them and regularly sleep on the floor, couch or air mattress. They serve families living in the 14605, 14606, 14609, 14611, 14613, 14615, 14619, 14621 and 14450 Zip Codes.

Recipients are identified through an application process. The beds are delivered, in compliance with recommended safety procedures, and each child also receives a new mattress, set of sheets, a pillow and comforter.

For further information on volunteering and more, follow Beyond the Sanctuary on Facebook or visit

Learn more about Sleep in Heavenly Peace at, on Facebook at or