Christmas morning will be a lot brighter for one Vermont family after a special gift from caring community members.
“To donate their time and come do this for other families — it’s amazing,” dad Lamba Crane said of the charity organization Sleep in Heavenly Peace.
Crane and his family lost most of their possessions when a smoky fire in Burlington this month spread from a neighboring apartment to theirs.
Sleep in Heavenly Peace, a volunteer group that builds modest beds for kids ages 3 to 17, fields referrals from churches, non-profits and community groups. It came through quickly with new beds for Crane’s twin boys.
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“I can’t be more thankful and grateful for what they’ve done for my family,” Crane said of Sleep in Heavenly Peace. “This is a miracle.”
Northwestern Vermont’s Sleep in Heavenly Peace chapter was founded in 2019.
Volunteers who deliver the wooden beds said it’s often invisible to the broader community how many kids spend the night on couches, or with their parents, or in sleeping bags on the floor because their family simply can’t afford a proper bed.
“There is a need, and we’re only scratching the surface,” said Bob Brosseau, one of the founders of the Chittenden County-area chapter of Sleep in Heavenly Peace. “For me, it’s a purpose that turned into a passion.”
Brosseau said the group now hopes to see another Vermont chapter launch or perhaps establish a satellite storage and delivery site — to cover more of the state. He pointed out none of the work would be possible without generous neighbors, including quilters, who donate bedding.
“When we tell the community we need some bedding, it’s like Christmas every day on my side porch — it just keeps coming and coming and coming,” Brosseau said, smiling.
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Brosseau said he hopes as word spreads about the mission of Sleep in Heavenly Peace, it will help the organization live up to its motto — that “no kid sleeps on the floor in our town.”
The Chittenden County chapter had constructed roughly 1,500 beds by the end of 2022, Brosseau said, and has a large build day planned for early in 2023.