Building beds for kids in Spring Branch is growing need and one group wants to help

Nick Natario Image
Saturday, February 19, 2022
Organization that donates beds to children in need looks to expand
EMBED <>More Videos

It started out as a retirement project for Gary Burns. Now, the organization services 20 zip codes, but noticed that Spring Branch has the biggest need.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- An organization helping kids getting a better night sleep has found that a community is in a bigger need and is looking for help to expand production.

A retirement project took on a whole new meaning for Gary Burns.

"In the past, when I had a career, I was for charity mainly writing a check," Burns recalled. "This just felt so much better to be able to do something with your hands."

It's a hands-on charity that has turned his garage into a workshop. Sitting on top of saw dust are thousands of pieces of wood, tools, and fabric Burns uses to make kid's beds.

They are not for sale, but to give away for free. It's an item he's making more of since he started three years ago.

"We made 20, and this past year we delivered 379 beds," Burns said.

And it's not just beds. Each child gets a full kit.

"We deliver the wooden frame, a mattress, a pillow, everything," Burns said.

He is a chapter president of the Sleep in Heavenly Peace organization. The chapter services 20 zip codes.

Normally, Burns said 3% of kids don't have a bed. In Spring Branch, it's double digits.

To meet the demand, the group is looking for a warehouse where it can make beds year-round.

"We don't need air conditioning in the warehouse that we're looking for," Burns explained. "We'd just use large fans, but that would allow us to immediately increase our output by 40%."

Burns said these are beds do more than give children a place to sleep. They can improve the quality of life and help them in school too.

"I had a situation once with a child. She was about 5 years old and we told her she was getting her own bed, and she couldn't comprehend it," Burns recalled. "She had lived her whole life sharing a bed, and that's what she thought everybody did."

Burns said he hopes to deliver more joy soon, not just to kids, but to his wife who can take back the garage.

"That would be very nice for my wife, and in turn by very nice for me," Burns said.

It's a retirement project that keeps growing and helping hundreds of kids get a better night sleep.

For updates on this story, follow Nick Natario on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.