Beaumont Elks Lodge #311 is happy to announce that it delivered a grant of $2,500 to the Beaumont Chapter of Sleep in Heavenly Peace (SHP), a 501-c-3 non-profit organization.
Receiving the grant on July 8, 2023, at their “Build Headquarters” was SHP Chapter Founder and President Jack Seeley, and his wife Charlotte. Presenting the grant for the Beaumont Elks were J David Derosier, Gratitude Grant chairman, and Darrell Berwick, PDDGER.
One of twenty SHP chapters in Texas, the Beaumont Chapter serves the SETX counties of Orange, Jefferson, and Hardin, as well as the communities of Devers and Winnie. Unfortunately, they are far less known than they should be, as is the community they serve.
One in five people in Southeast Texas lives below the poverty level. About one in ten struggles to make ends meet with less than half of the federal poverty level of income. It is difficult to find the actual statistics, but too many boys and girls go without a bed or even a pillow to sleep on because their families cannot afford one. These children end up sleeping on couches, blankets, and even floors. This can affect their health as well as their happiness.
Sleep in Heavenly Peace is a group of volunteers in Beaumont dedicated to building, assembling, and delivering sturdy, utility-grade twin-size beds AT NO CHARGE to children aged 3-17 in need. They are a chapter of a national non-profit charity started in 2012 in Idaho. They work entirely on donations and with volunteers. As of December 2022, there were 350 SHP Chapters across US and Canada.
The Beaumont group has built and delivered more than 2,624 beds. Their current waiting list is 422 beds for Jefferson, Orange, and Hardin counties, which means there are still many kids still sleeping on the floor.
The group is such a secret that even our local CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) was unaware of it until the Elks introduced them a few years back. CASA’s need? They have potential foster parents for kids that can’t qualify because they don’t have an extra bed for the foster child.
The cost for materials for a single bed is now about $250 and $500 for a bunk set. This includes mattresses and bedclothes. These costs have increased 100% in the last year and a half due to the cost of lumber. The mattress alone costs around $100.
The Elks’ Gratitude Grant of $2,500 was donated to Sleep in Heavenly Peace for the purchase of materials to construct beds, funded by the Elks National Foundation. The Beaumont Elks Lodge #311 is proud to carry on its charitable work for children and veterans in Southeast Texas. The Elks are also extremely pleased to have contributed in a small way to SHP’s image becoming better and better known each year.
At the recent July Build Day, the average age of the volunteers skewed toward younger volunteers. SHP has brought on a new marketing/public relations volunteer, Brittny Felps, and she has done a great job spreading the word on social media.
After the event, SHP Chapter Founder and President Jack Seeley said, “I had a volunteer tell me last delivery day that a little girl was so excited. She came up to him and hugged him and said ‘I am so happy this is my very first.’, and of course he was anticipating the word bed, but she said pillow”. Jack went on to say, “She was seven years old and she never had a pillow of her own.”
On the Build Day in July 2023, many of the student volunteers came from Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Nederland.