By Elizabeth Hyndman
Sleep – something we take for granted, but to others it’s a dream…
Sleep is an amazing thing. There are numerous scientific studies reminding us of this fact. They tell us that not getting enough sleep can result in obesity, increased cancer risk, heart disease, and earlier death. Getting sleep helps us to be nicer, smarter, and better looking. Not to mention, it’s just fun. Who doesn’t love curling up under a blanket at night, or sleeping in an extra hour on Saturdays? Sleep is an amazing thing.
Sadly, there are children around the world who don’t know how amazing sleep is. They rarely have a full night of sleep. Many times this is simply because they don’t have beds, or if they do, the beds are often soiled, broken, bug-infested, or dangerous. These children don’t know what it is like to curl up under a blanket at night, or sleep an extra hour on Saturday.
As a result of not getting enough sleep, they are more susceptible to disease, bone and joint trauma, and learning problems. For some children, sleeping without mosquito nets means risking malaria.
There is an organization working to show these children, many orphaned, or abandoned, how amazing sleep is. Sweet Sleep is a faith-based organization whose motto is, “A bed for every head.” They provide children around the world with sturdy beds, mattresses, blankets, and mosquito nets, depending on their needs. The vision of Sweet Sleep is for every orphaned child in the world to have their own bed, reminding them that they are loved, protected, and cared for by Jesus.
In the eight years since the founding of Sweet Sleep, the organization has been able to provide beds for over 13,000 children in Moldova, Uganda, Northern Uganda, and Haiti. They provide sturdy bunk-beds for children in orphanages, and straw mats and mattress sets for displaced refugee children in Uganda returning to their homes. Because the beds are made to fit the environment and because Sweet Sleep utilizes as many local businesses as possible for the bed production, the beds vary in cost from $50-$200.
There are many ways for churches and organizations to get involved in Sweet Sleep’s mission. Their website provides resources for bed races, nickel-drives, camp-outs, and more. They have programs for children, students, college groups, and all ages. Sweet Sleep also offers the opportunity for participation in Missions Journeys to deliver the beds to the children.
When they think of orphans in the world, many people think of their need for food, clothing, or shelter, but most people do not think of the need for a good night’s sleep. Sweet Sleep is providing kids with a way to get many good nights of sleep. And sleep is an amazing thing.
Check out http://sweetsleep.org for more information and ways to get involved.