ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Volunteers spent Saturday morning at the Historic Memorial AME Zion Church building 20 beds for the children of Rochester.
Donna Ritchie, who is the president of the Rochester chapter of Sleep in Heavenly Peace, says it's a huge need in the city.
"So many of us take it for granted to have a cozy warm bed to sleep at night,” Ritchie said. “But we have over 250 kids on our waiting list for a bed. So there are kids in Rochester in our team that are sleeping on the floor, on air mattresses, on a couch or on a chair. So we are hoping to take care of that."
Little by little, that waiting list is dwindling and that's thanks in part to Beyond the Sanctuary, which usually runs a food and clothing pantry.
"We will work with anyone at any time that is doing something good in the community,” said Carmen Allen of Beyond the Sanctuary. “Because we strongly believe that will all have a better impact, a bigger more meaningful impact if we combine our resources together."
Allen believes the dozens of volunteers that came out speaks to the generosity of the Rochester area.
"There are people willing and wanting to do good things,” Allen said. “But what we have to do is make it available to them. And that's what Donna from Sleep in Heavenly Peace and I are trying to do. Give people the platform so that they can use those energies and efforts to help someone else and then help themselves at the same time."
Ritchie knows exactly what these new beds will mean for some Rochester children.
"Kids sleep better,” Ritchie said. “They rest better. It means they are ready to learn and study when they go to school. It makes a big difference to have a good night's sleep. No kid sleeps on the floor in our town."
Anyone in Rochester that needs a bed for their child is encouraged to reach out to the national chapter of Sleep in Heavenly Peace.