COLORADO SPRINGS, CO — If you show up to a bed build day with Sleep in Heavenly Peace in Colorado Springs you'll hear the constant buzzing of volunteers sanding wood, drilling holes, and sawing. In just minutes, volunteers can build twin beds or bunk beds.
Denny Butts founded the Colorado Springs chapter of Sleep in Heavenly Peace, a non-profit that started in a garage in Idaho at Christmas in 2012. Butts says about 2-3% of children in Colorado Springs do not have a bed to sleep in every night. Determined to get that number to zero, Butts and his team of volunteers have built approximately 300 beds for kids aged 3-17. This year his chapter is on schedule to build 100.
"We actually started this almost 5 years ago," said SHP Build Manager Barrett Zehner. "It really just came from Denny had too much energy and too much time in his day and he wanted to do something else. It’s turned from just trying to take up time to being a passion for him and it’s been awesome to watch that blossom."
It's a mission not possible without the help of volunteers. On the day we were there, a team of cadets from the Air Force Academy showed up to help.
"Just to think that some people out there are sleeping with siblings or sleeping on the ground and don’t have much of their own, I just want to do something little to make a big impact," said cadet first class Dylan Sinclair.
Butts says the best part is delivery day and seeing the faces on the receiving end.
"One kid asked for the box the mattress came in, he wanted to use it as his dresser to put his shoes on," said Butts. "He didn’t have anything in his room. He had a little pile of blankets on the floor. His room was impeccable. He hardly had any toys."
Butts said it's hard not to get emotional.
"You cry all the time, in a good way," Butts said. "You’re happy that you’ve done a great job for those families."
A great job that's multiplying good through the power of service. That's why Denny Butts is the latest winner of the News 5 Jefferson Award.
"I just organize this," Butts said as he received his award. "It's the people here that are doing it for us in the community. At the end of the day, it’s all these people who are getting this award."
The next big build date for Sleep in Heavenly Peace in Colorado Springs will happen Saturday, July 22nd from 11 a.m.- 2 p.m. at Aspen Auto Clinic on Jet Stream Drive in Colorado Springs.
SHP Colorado Springs says they are always in need of twin sheets and pillows. For information about how to help click here.
Remember if you or someone you know is doing good in our community nominate them for a News 5 Jefferson Award. For 50 years, the national award, created with the help of Jackie Kennedy, recognizes people making extraordinary efforts to make their neighborhoods better through service. Local winners go on to compete for national recognition. Click here to make a nomination.
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