Sherwood Park, AB. — Having a comfortable bed to snuggle into at night is a simple pleasure that’s easy to take for granted. But for some children who spend most nights sleeping on couches, blankets or even the bare floor, a proper bed is a luxury their parents simply can’t afford. Construction students at Fort Saskatchewan High are taking steps to change this reality. In fact, the school recently partnered with a local charity called Sleep in Heavenly Peace. Together, they’re working on getting children off the floor and into their very own beds.
Following work done with the charity by both Bev Facey Community High and Strathcona Christian Academy Secondary, and wanting to do their part to help, the construction classes at Fort Saskatchewan High agreed to turn their classrooms into bed-producing workshops to help the Sleep in Heavenly Peace team meet demand. The school was supplied with enough materials and tools to build between 100 and 150 beds. Under the guidance of construction teacher Rick Kobylnyk, students of all grade levels got to cutting, routing and sanding bedframes, and bundling the finished pieces for delivery.
“Building these beds with my class made me realize how fortunate I am,” says Gurprashad Mann, a Grade 12 construction student at Fort Saskatchewan High. “Many families just don’t have enough money to afford basic needs. I’m grateful we get a chance to help make a difference for these kids.”
Founded in 2012 in the United States, Sleep in Heavenly Peace wanted to help transcend borders and established a Canadian chapter in Sherwood Park in 2019. “Providing each child with a comfortable bed improves their sleep quality and restores dignity to families,” says Mark Parr, Sleep in Heavenly Peace’s Strathcona Chapter President. “We’re so thankful for the commitment of Fort Saskatchewan High. In a year of uncertainties due to COVID-19, this partnership has made it possible to serve kids in need.”
The first 50 beds will be ready to deliver to families in communities around Edmonton just after the spring break. And there are many more on the way as the school strives to complete its quota before the end of the school year. Their goal: To ensure, one day, no child goes to sleep without a bed. And, and judging by this partnership, they’re off to a good start.
For more information about Sleep in Heavenly Peace, to request a bed or to volunteer, visit shpbeds.ca.
Elk Island Public Schools is one of Alberta’s largest school divisions, serving approximately 17,000 students in 43 schools. We are proud to be an integral part of our communities, including Sherwood Park, Fort Saskatchewan, Vegreville, Strathcona and Lamont counties, and the western portion of the County of Minburn.
For more information contact:
Laura McNabb, Director, Communication Services, EIPS 780-417-8204 cell 780-405-4902