David Whittington, a 16-year-old junior at Medina High School, worked Saturday to complete his Eagle Scout project — something he hopes will result in many nights of restful sleep.
After a few months of fundraising to hit a $2,000 goal, and a $900 sponsorship donated by the Medina Sunrise Rotary to make the goal attainable, Whittington was able to purchase the materials to ensure children in Medina and Elyria can sleep on new beds.
Searching for a “more impactful project,” Whittington said he heard about the nonprofit Sleep in Heavenly Peace from a neighbor. The group is a volunteer-based organization that works to build, assemble and deliver wooden bunk beds to families in need across the country through various local chapters.
Whittington was able to organize the help of 20 others — Scouts and parents — to help cut, drill and sand the pieces to make 10 bunk beds.
Roger Dorsey, president of the Lorain County chapter of Sleep in Heavenly Peace, said working with Whittington was a blessing.
“Because of David, 20 kids will be sleeping in their own bed for the very first time,” he said.
Dorsey said the Lorain County chapter receives hundreds of request for beds each year — 50 alone in the last week. The 25 members of the chapter try to build 1,000 beds each year.
With help from people like Whittington, they are better able to accomplish the goal, he said.
Organizations and people like Whittington help raise the funds for the building materials and Sleep in Heavenly Peace provides the supervision and construction tools.
Whittington’s dad, Doug Whittington, said he had never heard of anything like Sleep in Heavenly Peace before his son started working on his Eagle Scout project.
Whittington is a Scout with Troop 507, which is chartered at First Christian Church of Medina at the corner of Sharon-Copley Road and state Route 3.
“There are a lot of nonprofit organizations that raise awareness for basic needs like food and clothing, but Sleep in Heavenly Peace covers the other basic need: shelter, or in this case, a place to sleep,” the elder Whittington said.
Jim Boyd, the troop’s charter organization representative for First Christian Church, said “Eagle Scout projects are great for the community, and for the kids. It truly is a learning experience for applying all of the skills you learn through scouting.
“The kids are practicing project management and there have been so many great projects completed.”
In regards to Whittington’s Eagle Scout project signifying the end to his Scouting career, he said it is bittersweet.
“I was in Scouts since first grade,” he said. “That’s a long time. I’ve had a really great time with all of my friends and I’ve had a ton of fun.”
Whittington said he hopes to return to Scouting to help new members.
“It was, and still is, a big part of my life,” he said.
For more information about Sleep in Heavenly Peace, visit facebook.com/shpelyria online.