Sandia LabNews

Sandians build beds for kids in need

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SAFE AND SMOOTH — Sandia volunteers sand splinters off bedframes. (Photo by Spencer Toy)

A rainy forecast did not stop 25 Sandia volunteers from showing up to build and deliver beds for kids in need. Sleep in Heavenly Peace, a fully volunteer-based nonprofit in Livermore, California, takes their mission, “No kid sleeps on the floor in our town” seriously. They achieve this goal by building, delivering and furnishing beds for children currently sleeping on the floor, a couch or with a parent. Chapter president Daniel Curtis estimates there are around 3,000 Alameda County children who don’t have beds. This local chapter is making a dent in lowering that number every year. In 2023, they delivered 175 beds across the county.

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ALL IN A ROW — Systems engineer Zane Craddock, left, and Hannah Meade line up headboards after staining them. (Photo by Spencer Toy)

When Community Relations Specialist Michelle Walker-Wade met Curtis and learned about the nonprofit’s mission last year, she knew this community service opportunity was perfect for Sandia.

“From that Saturday in January 2023 until Feb. 17, 2024, when the bed-build day took place, the community involvement team strengthened our relationship with the organization by hosting a kids’ bedding drive, introducing them to our corporate contributions program and connecting with Daniel and his wife at other local community events,” Michelle said.

On bed-build day, 40 volunteers showed up ready to work. The build process required many different stations that seamlessly worked together. From raw wood, volunteers measured and cut lumber into various sizes. They sanded, drilled, pre-assembled and stained the bed components. The headboard was branded with the Sleep in Heavenly Peace logo, leaving its mark on the child’s life. With the help of Sandians, volunteers built a record 21 beds in two hours, one hour ahead of schedule.

Watching a pile of wood transform into beds for kids was fulfilling. After the bed-build and short pizza celebration, eight Sandians delivered beds to children’s homes, completed the build and furnished them with bedding. The project impacted five children in four homes.

Mechanical engineer Nathan Srinivasan participated in both community service projects.

“This opportunity was local to me, so it was a great and convenient way to get more involved. It was important to me because I realized how much we take for granted, such as proper sleeping accommodations and a comfortable bed you can call your own,” Nathan said. “Seeing the kids look at their new beds was definitely heartwarming.”

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BUILD A BED — Communications intern Michael Shaikh lays slats in a bunk bed. (Photo by Spencer Toy)

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