Getting kids off the floor
There's one thing Canby's Katie Sigler remembers about her youth in Canby – sleeping on floors and moving repeatedly.
It was a circumstance few of her peers knew she was going through, but left an indelible mark, one that she's in a position to do something about now.
Sigler is the Canby chapter president of Sleep in Heavenly Peace, which seeks to match youth sleeping on the ground with a bed. And to that end, the Canby chapter will participate in a June 15 program called Bunks Across America, and Sigler hopes Canby residents will join in the project.
Beginning at 8:30 a.m. on June 15, the community has a chance to help build bunk beds that will get Canby youth off floors and into a bed. The event runs until 1:30 p.m.
In Canby, that means meeting at OBC Northwest (1076 SW Berg Parkway – behind Ace Hardware) where volunteers will be tasked with building 20 bunk beds.
"And we deliver them to kids who are sleeping on floors," said Sigler. "And those beds come with mattresses, blankets, everything they need for a healthy sleeping situation."
And Sigler knows how important that is. She and her husband are long-time Canby residents, but she admits growing up she had rough times.
"I grew up sleeping on the floor," she said. "So this kind of hit home with me. I wanted to give back to those kids in this community."
So, she helped start a Sleep in Heavenly Peace chapter in Canby and the group just recently become "official," which allows them to start dialing in youth sleeping on floors toward a bed.
"Building these bunk beds with community involvement is really valuable," said Sigler. "On June 15 we are hoping the community will help us build 20 bunk beds, which will get 40 kids off the floor. When we became official and 'hit the button' as it were, we had 12 requests for beds in one week. That's just basically getting information out through social media.
"Not many people know we are here, so I think once the word gets out, the numbers will explode," she added.
Sigler notes that she moved six times in four years during high school and that no one ever knew.
"The people I went to high school with never knew," she said. "It's not something most kids want to talk about – missing those necessities of life other kids have."
Youth ages 3 to 17 can ask for a bed. When the request is made, Sigler said the chapter checks to make sure it's a legitimate request, then set up a time to deliver the bed.
But the beds have to get built, something Sigler hopes the community will be part of on June 15, which incidentally is an event that is going on nationally with 100 chapters of Sleep in Heavenly Peace.
"For volunteers, registration begins at 8:30 a.m. and is open to anyone over the age of 12 that wants to help," said Sigler. "You don't have to bring anything, just fill out the registration form and we'll put them right to work."
To register on-line, or get more information, check out the Facebook page at Sleep in heavenly peace – OR, Canby.
Overall, Sleep in Heavenly Peace hopes to get more than 6,000 volunteers to build more than 2,500 bunk beds during the nationwide Bunks Across America program on June 15.
Bunk Building Info
What: Bunks Across America.
When: Saturday, June 15, beginning at 8:30 a.m.
Why: Volunteers build bunk beds for youth in Canby who need a place to sleep.
Who: Canby chapter of Sleep in Heavenly Peace.
Where: OBC Northwest (1076 SW Berg Parkway) in Canby.
How: Register at 8:30 a.m. or online/Facebook and just show up. Volunteers don't need to bring anything but a desire to help.