Charity Spotlight: Building a Better Night’s Sleep

Organization: Sleep in Heavenly Peace 

Leadership: Jordan Allen – executive director | Joe Genovese – Phoenix chapter president


In 2012, Luke Mickelson built a bed for a family in need in his hometown of Twin Falls, Idaho. What started as an act of kindness exposed something very few think about — children having no bed of their own to sleep in comfortably. Using his daughter’s bunk bed as a template, Mickelson started buying wood and supplies to build beds with his own money, recruiting friends and family to help during the holidays. 

The work became such a passion that Mickelson eventually quit his successful career and created Sleep in Heavenly Peace, a nonprofit that builds and delivers beds to children in need. The Phoenix chapter was created five years ago.  


“No kid sleeps on the floor in our town!” is Sleep in Heavenly Peace’s motto. With more than 65 chapters across the U.S., the organization has delivered over 100,000 free beds to kids across the country. In the process, the organization has built a tremendous sense of community as all of the beds are built from scratch by volunteers, with donations from local companies, generous individuals, churches, clubs like Kiwanis and Rotary, and funds from grants and foundations.

Annual Budget

The Phoenix chapter plans to build and deliver beds (or bunk beds) to approximately 1,500 children in 2024. At a cost of $250 per bed — which includes lumber, hardware, brand-new mattress, pillow, blanket and sheet set — that makes a revenue goal of $375,000.

“All of our volunteers in Phoenix are unpaid — happily,” said Joe Genovese, chapter president of Sleep in Heavenly Peace. “We do, however, have an amazing home office team of dedicated, paid individuals at our chapter support center in Idaho. Ten percent of our local revenue goes toward their efforts in supporting us, but most of those funds come right back to us in the form of insurance coverage, digital systems, marketing, social media and so much more.”

Most Surprising Thing About the Organization

The sheer need for it. “I am shocked at the number of children who go to sleep each night in something other than a bed,” Genovese said. “Our current waiting list is up to 3,000 children, and this is just from the families who have discovered us.”

Fortunately, another surprising thing is helping the nonprofit meet this need: “The amazing number of good-hearted, like-minded citizens who have come by our side and volunteered their time and passion for kids and their families,” Genovese said.

Program Highlight

In its first year, Sleep in Heavenly Peace had a local plan to build 100 beds. It built 500 that year.

“We never imagined the success we would have in attracting volunteers and in attracting donations. It’s truly a blessing,” Genovese said.

The Phoenix chapter now builds and delivers a bed to about 150 children each month.

Recent Challenges

For its first five years, the organization’s operational strategy was to bring Sleep in Heavenly Peace to the companies, clubs and churches that sponsored the building of beds. “We literally packed up all of our equipment one Saturday each month and did a mobile build,” Genovese said.

As demand rose, they worked to find ways to be more efficient while raising money to build a permanent site where volunteers could come from all over the Valley. “We wanted to be like St. Mary’s Food Bank or Feed My Starving Children and find ways to serve more kids, but with less moving, loading and unloading,” Genovese said.

They recently accomplished that goal with a location near Sky Harbor Airport. “Our challenge now is having to pay rent. However, we are absolutely confident we can raise the needed funds and serve more kids,” Genovese said.


Sleep in Heavenly Peace wants to reduce the number of children on its waiting list and be more efficient in building and delivering beds. The organization invites anyone interested in building or delivering beds to contact them.

To learn more, visit

About Frontdoors Media

Frontdoors Media celebrates the people and groups who give generously and work to build the future of our community. It’s the premier source of information – and inspiration – for those who strive to make the Valley of the Sun a better place to live.

From Frontdoors Magazine

Back to Top