Sleep in Heavenly Peace
Nov 28, 2022
Neil Hayes
Sleep in Heavenly Peace

Neil Hayes is the Chairman of Sleep in Heavenly Peace Canada (“SHP Canada”).

SHP Canada are currently busy building and delivering beds to poor children in Edmonton including supplying beds to a recent surge of new Ukrainian refugees. Working together with Rotary, Rotaract and other social agencies, they are delivering beds every week. Rotarians and SHP volunteers are truly blessed to be able to join together to give hope and warmth to hundreds of children!

Rotary has and continues to help SHP Canada fulfill its mission. Working together with Rotary has allowed SHP Canada to give over 500 beds to needy children in the greater Edmonton region in 3 years.  

As supporters of SHP Canada, Rotary helps give much more than beds but also hope, respect and a safe, warm place of refuge. The children who receive the beds are so thankful.

Neil and his wife and started the charity officially in July 2019 when they received their CRA Registered Charity number. Their growth is due to many volunteers and groups like Rotary who believe all kids deserve a warm bed.

Neil tells this story:

“I will never forget Kevin. While working in 1989 with the Edmonton Boys & Girls Club, I met Kevin and his three brothers.  He was being abused by his grandfather. I went to see him on a cold November evening. I never forget his empty house. I found an empty house with no food and no furniture. It hit me like a 2 x 4.  He and his brothers were also neglected and starving. With help, we got him food and cloths.  I made a pledge to God that one day I would find a way to get new beds to kids like Kevin. Many of our volunteers are social workers at Women’s Shelters and Edmonton police officers who see empty houses every day - it both haunts us and drives us to act. You are helping us build beds, bringing hope and a fresh start!

I found myself in November 2018 laid off from work. My wife reminded me about Kevin.  You were going to do something about kids without beds. You are smart and know how to get stuff. This encouragement led to me finding “Cindy” on Kijiji. The single mom had three kids and was fleeing spousal abuse.  I found “Cindy” in the free Kijiji section.  This single mom with three kids pleaded “I have nothing! Please help, I need everything!” Cindy had recently left an abusive relationship and had only suitcases in an empty townhouse in Northeast Edmonton. I asked her what she wanted most – she said beds! – we all sleep on the floor!  I found her beds.

We started making beds in my garage in March 2019 and an official registered Canadian charity in July 2019. Sleep in Heavenly Peace builds beds and bunk beds for kids using raw lumber and delivers and installs beds complete with new mattresses and new bedding free to children ages 3 to 17 years who have no beds. We have a passion to build and give every kid who sleeps on the floor a new warm bed. We are the only charity that does this. Some of our volunteers remember sleeping on the floor as children in cold houses.”

Sleep in Heavenly Peace is a group of volunteers dedicated to building and delivering handmade beds. With help from Rotary, High School Shop classes, community groups, businesses and organizations, we help hundreds of children.

Thank you for helping to make sure “NO KIDS SLEEP ON THE FLOOR IN OUR TOWN”.