East TN charity takes part in nationwide bunk bed build, hopes to break world record


An East Tennessee charity is joining a nationwide effort to break a Guinness World Record. The goal is to build 2,500 bunk beds or 5,000 beds for little ones in need all across the U.S.

As part of our parent company Nexstar’s Founders Day of Service, WATE 6 On Your Side will be taking part in this mission on Saturday, June 15.

Related: Local non-profit provides hand-made bunk beds for kids in need

Sleep in Heavenly Peace is a national organization focused on getting children into a proper bed. Organizers say they’ve gotten 9,253 kids off the floor since 2018.

“When we leave the home, they’re ready to go to bed and in a lot of cases they do,” said Bill Thompson, Knoxville chapter president of Sleep in Heavenly Peace.

Knoxville’s chapter of SHP began operations in October 2018 and Thompson says so far they’ve helped more than 50 families.

“It’s very important for a child to get a good night’s sleep,” he said.

A lot of work goes into a bunk bed for a family in need. They’re built and put together by volunteers, then hand delivered by volunteers.

“We want you to have the whole works. So you get the bed, you get the mattress, you get the sheets, the pillows, the comforter, ” said Thompson.

Related: ‘It felt like a miracle’: Campbell County family thankful for bunk bed donation

The bunks cost about $350 each and Thompson says Knoxville’s SHP has a waiting list with 27 families.

“We’ve been able to keep up with it to this point but three to four weeks ago, we started to get behind,” he said.

Thompson says you can help families in need by volunteering your time to build bunk beds, deliver beds, and donate new bedding or building supplies.

“The satisfaction is that delivery. When you see the smile on the kid’s face, and in a lot of cases this is the first bed they’ve ever had,” he added.

If you would like to volunteer or make a donation, you can visit Sleep in Heavenly Peace’s website by clicking here.

Knoxville was the first in the state to open a Sleep in Heavenly Peace chapter. There’s another SHP in Chattanooga, some in Nashville and one is set to open in Kingsport soon.

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