"We have potentially 4,000 children without beds in the Chattahoochee Valley area today."
You may know Michael Wood as a familiar face and servant-hearted volunteer from Christ Community Church. Today, he is also serving our community in a new way: building and distributing beds for less fortunate children in the Chattahoochee Valley. Michael is now the Columbus, GA Chapter President of Sleep in Heavenly Peace.
Check out the interview below to see how you can help meet the growing need for beds in our area right here at CCC.
Introduce us to yourself:
My name is Michael Wood. I am married to Sheri (you will know her from the registration desk in Kingdom Kids). I have 3 kids: Erin, who is 19 and off at college at Toccoa Fall; Leslie is 16, and Charlie, who is one month shy of 15.
I am a Project/Product Manager at Delta Data Software
How long have you been at Christ Community Church?
We have been at CCC since the first public service at Arnold Middle School. We are old-timers.
What is Sleep in Heavenly Peace (SHP)?
Founded in Kimberly, Idaho in 2012, Sleep in Heavenly Peace (SHP) is THE ONLY charity providing hand-made bunk beds to children who don’t have beds of their own. Not only do we deliver these beds to kiddos in need, but we partner with organizations, churches, businesses and individuals like you to build them at events called Build Days! With so many great charities providing clothing, meals and toys, little help goes to something as permanent as providing suitable beds and bedding. SHP is a group of volunteers dedicated to finding those young children living without the luxury of sleeping on a bed or even laying their heads on a pillow. Through the wonderful efforts of volunteers and generous donations, bunk beds are built, assembled and delivered to those children who are otherwise sleeping on couches, blankets or even floors. SHP is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit serving children in need. Our federal ID is 46-4346568. And the best part? As a volunteer-driven organization, no donated money goes into any salaried positions. With only 10% of donations go toward administrative costs, (national average is 37%) 90% of local donations go to building beds for local children in need. At SHP, we have a mission: NO KID SLEEPS ON THE FLOOR IN OUR TOWN!
There are currently 205 chapters in 43 states. We also just had a chapter start in Bermuda and we have chapters starting in Canada this year.
How did you get involved and what is your role with SHP now?
I first heard about Sleep in Heavenly Peace on the radio last summer and thought since I do woodworking as a hobby, this would be a great ministry to get involved in. But like most men, I didn’t do anything with it at first. After a couple of weeks of hearing the spot, and being prompted by my wife, I finally listened and contacted them to see about getting involved. I found out that the closest chapter is in LaGrange and I began talking with Greg, their chapter president. We became fast friends as we talked and texted a lot of the next several days/weeks. He invited me to a large build they were having in August where the founder would be onsite. This just happened to be the day before we were to move our oldest daughter to Toccoa Falls College-- not the best timing, but I prayed that it would work out. He also asked me to pray about starting a chapter in Columbus. I went to the build to see what it was all about and to meet Luke Mickelson the founder and see what I thought of him. I prayed that God would make it clear if this was an organization/ministry that I was to get involved in. I also prayed for God to put people in my path to help.
I felt lead to apply to start a chapter in Columbus so here I am as the President of the Columbus GA chapter.
What is the need in our community?
40% of any population consists of kids under the age of 18. 2-3 % of those are bedless. So the Columbus population as of 2018 is just under 200,000 that means that 2,400 kids are potentially without beds. If you add in Ft. Benning (107,000) and Phenix City (37,000) then there are potentially 4,000 bedless kids. If we build 200 bunks per year (400 beds), it will take us 10 years to cover the need.
How can people get involved?
There are several ways people can get involved with SHP:
1) They can volunteer to be part of one (or more) of our build days. This is when we get community volunteers together to actually build the beds from scratch and get them ready for delivery.
2) They can be part of one (or more) of our deliveries. This is the most rewarding part of the whole process. You get to take a bed, mattress, pillow, and all the linens to a child who has probably never had a bed of their own. You get to see the excitement on their faces (and the family’s) when we finish assembling the bed and they know that they have a comfortable place to sleep that night.
3) Donate. As an individual, they can make either a cash donation or an in-kind donation (tools, materials, etc.) As a business, Church, or other organization, they can sponsor a build. If you want more information on sponsoring a build, please let me know. We also need bedding
What donation items do you need?
We need cash donations for purchasing tools and build materials. We can also take in-kind donations of the necessary tools and materials for our builds. I can provide a tool list if anyone wants to make an in-kind donation. We will at some point soon need a trailer to haul our tools to the build sites.
We also need new twin bedding and pillows. Twin size bed in a bag is great, but we will also take sheet sets and combine them with other sets we receive. (There will be a donation station displayed at Booth 3 for the next month for these types of donations.)
There is a donation booth set up at booth 3 in the church lobby. You can drop off any of your bedding donations there.
Here are a couple links to some very interesting and informative videos that will give you lots more information about SHP and our founder Luke Mickelson.
Mike Rowe - Returning the Favor
CNN Heroes-Luke-Mickelson-Sleep in Heavenly-Peace
If you are interested in getting involved, contact Michael Wood at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The CCC Blog is a collection of writings and images from staff members and guest contributors, all pointing to the extraordinary life made possible by a relationship with Jesus.