The sound of saws and sanders echoed outside an open space in Amherst as sawdust sprinkled to the ground.
Volunteers from all over Lorain County built bunk beds through a Sleep in Heavenly Peace chapter, a nonprofit that builds beds for children in the county who don’t have a bed to sleep in.
All across the country, volunteers built beds Saturday for a national “Bunks across America” event, hosted by more than 100 Sleep in Heavenly Peace chapters in the U.S. and Canada.
Roger Dorsey, the president of the Lorain County chapter, said the goal was to build 210 beds. They currently have more than 300 requests from people who need one.
“The beds go to any kid in the county that doesn’t have adequate sleeping arrangements,” Dorsey said. “Some kids sleep in a closet, some sleep on a couch, some sleep on the floor, some sleep in a different place every night. What we want to try and do is give them something that’s theirs, so that when they go home at night, they know they have a bed.”
By 9:30 a.m., about 200 volunteers had arrived, helping assemble the beds at many different stations.
They started inside, where people cut the wood and then carried it outside to a tapping station, so that when the wood went to the drill station, every hole would be in the same spot. After the drill, people would sand it, and the wood moved to the assembly station.
It then went to the staining tank, where the wood would be dipped in a solution of steel wool and vinegar. The last step was the branding station before it was added to the stack.
Volunteers were encouraged to bring tools, like sanders, if they had them, but there were tools provided for the day.
Dorsey said he expected anywhere from 200 to 400 volunteers to appear throughout the day. The chapter has built and delivered 290 beds in the past 11 months.
The pieces to the beds will be delivered on the fourth Saturday in June and then the second and fourth Saturdays in July. Dorsey said they put the headboard and sideboards together on site and sometimes even have the children help put their beds together. He said it gives them a little bit of ownership.
The bed building event saw volunteers from around region, including Amherst, North Ridgeville, Grafton and Sheffield Lake.
“It unifies the community behind a cause that everybody can get behind,” Dorsey said. “We have children in our town, in Lorain County, that will sleep on the floor tonight. This is trying to give the children of Lorain County a foundation, so that each night, they know they have something they can go to. They have a safe, secure place to sleep.”