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Beds built at MLK day event in Milton will go to area children in need

MILTON — Twenty local children will soon rest more easily because of the work of dozens of volunteers at Milton High School on Monday.

Volunteers — 53 in total — spent at least a portion of Monday assembling beds in the high school’s wood shop for the Edgerton chapter of Sleep in Heavenly Peace, which is part of a national organization.

Idaho-based Sleep in Heavenly Peace organizes efforts to build and deliver beds to children who don’t have their own to sleep in. The Edgerton chapter serves disadvantaged children in Janesville, Edgerton, Milton, Evansville, Stoughton, Fort Atkinson, Deerfield and Cambridge.

Monday’s build was a part of an “MLK Day Build,” sponsored by the Edgerton chapter.

High school and city hall staff from Milton helped out, as did members of the Milton Community Foundation. The foundation is granting money for mattresses to go along with the beds. Nelson Young Lumber donated the wood for the project.

Northside Intermediate Associate Principal Cassie Jemilo, whose father Bob Garza is a Sleep in Heavenly Peace volunteer, helped coordinate with the foundation and the school district to make the build possible.

Julie Norland, president of Sleep in Heavenly Peace’s Edgerton chapter, told volunteers before they started building the beds on Monday that children have difficulties paying attention or just coping emotionally day-to-day if they don’t have a bed to sleep in.

“I’ve seen middle school-aged kids dance with joy because they got a bed because they were sleeping on a couch, on cushions on the floor or right on the floor. Or, sometimes, there might be a couple of kids in a bed with their parents,” Norland said. “So, what you do today will make a difference for kids.”

Edgerton chapter build manager Adam Gould showed volunteers how to drill holes, sand wood and put the beds together. Volunteers built the beds during two shifts, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. Headboards were branded with the SHP logo. I-90 Enterprises in Edgerton will provide free storage for the beds until they can be delivered to homes in the area.

Milton High School technical education teacher Terry Schindler and his students worked on Friday to set up for the build.

“I showed up to open up the door, and I was just here to learn,” Schindler said. “I’ve never been a part of this.”

Volunteer Gretchen Kingsley said she jumps at any chance to give back to the community and thought this was the right opportunity to do so.

“It was very rewarding, knowing we can support our community and give our students more than an education, but knowing they have a safe and comfortable place to sleep,” Kingsley said.

The Edgerton chapter set a goal of building 20 beds by the end of the day Monday. It took about 360 wooden boards and several hours of work, but the goal was accomplished by 4 p.m., plus an extra headboard.

Families may apply to receive a bed at

Norland said families could receive beds for their children in as little as a week, and up to two or three weeks. There is no waiting list.