Elks Lodge helps local children without beds enjoy needed rest

Published 11:43 am Monday, January 16, 2023

Beaumont Elks Lodge #311 recently delivered a grant of $3,500 to the Beaumont Chapter of Sleep In Heavenly Peace, a 501-c-3 non-profit organization.

Receiving the grant at their “Build Headquarters” was Chapter Chairman Jack Seeley.

Presenting the grant was J David Derosier, Gratitude Grant chairman for the Beaumont Elks.

Also present were representatives from the Fraternal Order of Eagles Port Neches Ladies Auxiliary, with a donation of 32 sets of bedding for use on the beds to be made at the next “Build Day” event.

One of 20 Sleep In Heavenly Peace chapters in Texas, the Beaumont Chapter serves Orange, Jefferson and Hardin counties, as well as the communities of Devers and Orange.

Unfortunately, they are far less known than they should be, as is the community they serve, Derosier said.

According to organizers, one in five people in Southeast Texas live below the poverty level. About one in ten struggle to make ends meet with less than half of the federal poverty level of income.

It is difficult to find the actual statistics, but too many boys and girls go without a bed or even a pillow to sleep on because their families cannot afford one. These children end up sleeping on couches, blankets and even floors. This can affect their health and happiness, organizers said.

Sleep in Heavenly Peace is a volunteer effort dedicated to building, assembling and delivering sturdy, utility grade twin size beds AT NO CHARGE to children aged 3-17 in need.

The Southeast Texas group has built and delivered more than 2,000 beds with a waiting list of more than 250 beds for Jefferson, Orange, and Hardin counties.

The cost for materials for a single bed is now approximately $250, including mattress and bed clothes. These costs have increased 100 percent in the last year due to the cost of lumber.

Just the mattress alone costs around $100.

The Elks’ grant of $3,500 was donated to Sleep In Heavenly Peace to fund the purchase of materials to construct beds.

A Gratitude Grant of $2,500, funded by the Elks National Foundation, was combined with a direct contribution from Beaumont Elks Lodge #311 fundraising activities in the amount of $1,000.