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1:31 PM Sun, Nov. 18th

Keeping kids in beds and off of floors

David Wayt (front), Scott Holtry (back left), and numerous volunteers learn the proper way to build beds at Sleep in Heavenly Peace’s training held Feb. 24 in San Diego. (Courtesy photo)

David Wayt (front), Scott Holtry (back left), and numerous volunteers learn the proper way to build beds at Sleep in Heavenly Peace’s training held Feb. 24 in San Diego. (Courtesy photo)

KINGMAN – The Youth Advisory Commission wants to do its part in making sure Kingman children have beds to sleep in rather than on makeshift mattresses or the floor, and plans to accomplish that goal by working with Sleep in Heavenly Peace to hold bed-builds throughout the year.

Councilman David Wayt, Council liaison to the commission, said he was first made aware of Sleep in Heavenly Peace after the non-profit organization held a build in his father’s hometown of Lehi, Utah. “No Kid Sleeps on the Floor In Our Town,” the organization’s motto, spoke to Wayt, the father of four children.

“With four little boys at home I have developed a soft spot in my heart for kids,” Wayt said. “I often see my boys' little faces every time I empathize with another person’s child.”

Wayt, a deputy county attorney, explained that through his job he has worked with various law enforcement agencies from the area and has been present for the delivery of search warrants.

“I’ve seen firsthand the sleeping conditions that some less fortunate children endure each night,” he said. “While there are many less dramatic examples out there, a new bed can mean the world to a struggling family or a formerly uncomfortable child.”

Wayt brought the idea to commissioners Amelia Bracket, Hannah Heiden, Rachel Masters, Laken Moulder and Bryn Zachreson. He said they were “very receptive.”

“Actually being able to use your hands and get involved and get people excited and involved I think was one of the reasons they found this so appealing,” Wayt said.

Wayt and Scott Holtry are co-presidents of the Kingman Chapter of Sleep in Heavenly Peace, and traveled to San Diego in February to receive training on the build process. The organization has 68 chapters in 29 states.

“It’s a pretty streamlined process,” Wayt said of the bed builds.

Wayt and Holtry will provide instruction to volunteers to ensure the beds are built properly. The builds entail different stations, with volunteers each contributing a part of the whole. One station will use the chop saw, another will use the orbital sanders. The next step in the process is using a drill press before beds are taken to be assembled.

The majority of the building process will be completed at the build site, but the beds will be assembled in their entirety at whatever home they go to. Wayt explained that he has already received applications for beds and will go through them and choose recipients based on need, as well as when the application was submitted. He emphasized that beds will go to “good, hardworking families that just need a break.”

Wayt hopes that the Kingman chapter can address the issue locally and provide a service for struggling families.

“There are many wonderful families in Kingman struggling financially who want what is best for their children,” Wayt said. “If we can help alleviate their burden by providing this service, I am happy to contribute.”

The first build is scheduled for Aug. 11. Wayt believes the build will take place at the airport and industrial park, but details still need to be hashed out. The commission is hoping to complete at least 20 beds at the August build, and if all goes well, Wayt plans to have another build in December.

“There are many opportunities to serve and get involved with this organization,” Wayt said. “Each and every donation can make a lasting impact.”

To volunteer at the first build, make a cash donation or sponsor the materials needed to make a bed, go to www.SHPbeds.org. From there, follow the links to make a donation, volunteer, or submit an application for a bed.