Basin Electric employee brings comfort to families in need, one bed at a time

Phil Gunyon, operations technician at Deer Creek Station, stands next to a newly constructed bunkbed. It was donated to a child in need through his local chapter of Sleep in Heavenly Peace.

Since watching an inspirational video about nonprofit organization Sleep in Heavenly Peace, Phil Gunyon, operations technician at Deer Creek Station, has been helping the local chapter’s president, Dave Miller, bring the nonprofit organization to the Brookings, South Dakota, area.

In a matter of eight weeks and with community support, Gunyon helped establish a local chapter of the nonprofit, which provides beds for children to families in need.

Sleep in Heavenly Peace was started by Luke Mickelson and his family in their Twin Falls, Idaho garage in 2012. Their slogan, “No kid sleeps on the floor in our town,” has been shared around the United States since Mike Rowe, host of the web TV series “Returning the Favor,” (and former TV show “Dirty Jobs”) featured the nonprofit on his show.

At that time, Sleep in Heavenly Peace had nine chapters; today it has 69 chapters, including the chapter in Brookings.

Gunyon says he’s worked with a lot of charities and organizations over the years and this struck him.

“There are many different reasons why people can’t meet their basic needs, like having a bed,” Gunyon says. “Medical reasons are a major issue for people in need of beds because they’ve had to sell all their items to pay medical bills.”

The Brookings chapter’s goal for 2018 is to make 200 beds. Since May, Gunyon’s team has built 27 beds, all of which have been given to families in the 40-mile area that the Brookings chapter supports.

Gunyon is the build manager for the Brookings’ chapter and makes sure beds are built appropriately. Prior to building beds, Gunyon helped get equipment ready and built benches used for working on the beds.

Gunyon has met two families who were given beds by Sleep in Heavenly Peace and describes meeting them as “very humbling.”

The cost for Sleep in Heavenly Peace to build one bed is $150 and a set of bunkbeds is $300. These prices includes include wood, mattresses, quilts, sheets, pillows, etc.

The Brookings community has been very generous to its local chapter of Sleep in Heavenly Peace, with one local gentleman donating the use of his 1,900-square-foot building, and local quilters making and donating 50 quilts.

“We have been very blessed,” Gunyon says. ”It’s just amazing to see all the support we are given.”

The chapter accepts monetary donations, as well as donations of new, unused twin-sized bed sheets, blankets, quilts and pillow cases.

The chapter is also seeking corporate sponsors who will be involved annually, whether through donations or participating in builds. Families are also welcome to participate in a build, making it an event for a birthday party or a family reunion.

Learn more about Sleep in Heavenly Peace, request a bed for someone in need or make a donation.

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