By Christmas, students at a Winnipeg high school will have built and donated 150 beds to children in need.
Technical Vocational High School students from many different programs have been stepping up to help give members of their community a good night's sleep.
Jim Thiessen, the chapter president of Sleep in Heavenly Peace Winnipeg, says the partnership with the school began after having a conversation with a core group from Sleep in Heavenly Peace.
"We talked about how we could potentially grow our operation once we were established," Thiessen says.
The beds are made by volunteers, and the group hoped that schools and their students would join in, not knowing how big of an impact the partnership would come to be.
"One of those (goals) was basically to give the students the opportunity to hone their skills building products but to also give them the opportunity to learn about the social issues that exist in the city and also give them the opportunity to come with us when we do bed installations to let them see first hand the effects fo their efforts and how they are directly affecting the family," Thiessen says.
Toby Punton, the school's vocational resource teacher, says the experience is rewarding for the students in many ways.
At Tec Voc, a core group of 12 students, including the carpentry class, are volunteering to make the beds, with others helping on occasion.
"We have kids that come to me during class time and ask if they can take a break during their regular class and come help make the beds," Punton says.
He says students volunteer to come before and after soon and on their lunchbreaks wanting to make beds.
"They really are getting to own this project and really taking advantage of the good that comes with it."
Punton says students understand the importance and meaning behind the beds, noting that some students may be personally affected by them.
"Some of the kids that here are going to be probably receiving some of these beds and lots of their friends or family, people in the community will be receiving these."
Students are involved from the time the raw lumber comes into the door to seeing the child crawl into the bed with new bedding.
"This is something that they are going to see their rewards for a long time coming."
Thiessen says seeing the enthusiasm is an amazing feeling.
"I have seen the students in action and it really is heartwarming to see how they have thrown themselves into the job."
The president says that the beds they build are high-end. He says the partnership has gone beyond their expectations.
Branching further into the school, other classes have been helping with Sleep in Heavenly Peace. The metal shop program is building jigs, graphic arts students have created materials used in the school, and other students fundraise for bedding.
"It really is an all-school project and I cannot tell you how happy that makes us feel here."
Thiessen says one day in the mail, they received a letter and cheque from a Tech Voc alumnus, saying he was a graduate in 1960 and felt so proud of the school he wanted to contribute to the initiative.
Punton says the carpentry class leaves the program with their Level One, knowing how to build beds, ice fishing shacks, and other things.