The 2021 Eldridge Bynum Award for Excellence in Community Service was awarded to the Oneonta chapter of Sleep in Heavenly Peace, an organization that builds and delivers beds to children who do not have a bed of their own. Established in 2020, the local chapter has already built 192 beds, with 127 delivered.
Sleep in Heavenly Peace has a motto of “No kid sleeps on the floor in our town.” It was shocking to founders Dan and Christy Buckner (pictured at left) to see just how many children do not have beds of their own in Blount County. The bed requests have exceeded original expectations, but that only makes what Sleep in Heavenly Peace does even more effective as they strive for a goal of zero children in Blount County not having their own bed to rest in.
Sleep in Heavenly Peace leaders periodically schedule “bed builds.” During the scheduled build day, team members and community members work together to help construct the much-needed beds. At times, there have been more than 50 people working together as they strive toward that zero children without appropriate bedding.