LYNN HAVEN, Fla. (WMBB) — At Sleep in Heavenly Peace’s build day on Saturday, Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis stopped by to make a special announcement. Patronis named Feb. 20 Florida’s Sleep in Heavenly Peace Day.
“The legislature has worked over the last two years to make this a reality,” Patronis said. “I’ve got a 10- and a 12-year-old and all you have to do is go to a house that was devastated by a hurricane and you see where the water has devastated all their furnishings so their furnishings are gone and the kids are sleeping on air mattresses.”
When a family requests a bed from Sleep in Heavenly Peace, they get way more than just the frame.
“We actually supply all the mattresses, the sheets, the pillows, the whole nine yards. We want those kids–some of them have never slept in a bed if you can imagine that; have never had a pillow,” said Luke Mickelson, Sleep in Heavenly Peace founder & CEO. We want to make sure that when they are supported by Sleep in Heavenly Peace, they are sleeping in a fully furnished and functioning bed.”
At the build, volunteers with the organization built and distributed 120 beds to families in need.
“We were here during the hurricane. We saw the devastation and everything that happened. So many homes were destroyed and still, even though we’re getting better now in the urban area, there’s still so many on the outliers just struggling, big time,” said Christy Lingenfelter, a volunteer with the organization since Hurricane Michael.
Patronis said Sleep in Heavenly Peace’s work is vital to Bay County’s road to recovery from Hurricane Michael because it helps families try and achieve a sense of normalcy.
“We still have pain. Hurricane Michael still has a lingering effect here. But little by little, getting your life back to normal, being able to sleep in a normal bed, being able to go to school.”
Mickelson said Sleep in Heavenly Peace’s goal in 2021 is to build 40,000 beds across the country.