After building a successful career, Luke Mickelson now helps children sleep a little deeper.
Luke Mickelson from Twin Falls, Idaho, seems to have led a truly blessed life. In high school he was a quarterback, and went on to marry, start a family, and coach his kids’ sports teams; all while developing a prosperous career. Yet, one encounter with a little girl who had no bed changed his life forever — and he would say, for the better.
In 2012, Mickelson and his family heard of children in their community who had no beds to sleep in at night. So, using his own kids’ beds as a template, Mickelson and his family set about building a bunk bed to deliver to the local children in need. Talking to CNN, Mickelson explained:
“This little girl had a nest of clothes, it looked like a little bird’s nest. And that’s what she slept on, that’s what her bed was.” The child was so grateful for her new bed that she wouldn’t let go of it. The realization that were children living in these conditions, so close to home, proved a turning point for Mickelson, leading him to take a drastic decision.
After setting up Sleep in Heavenly Peace, a non-profit organization that builds children’s beds and delivers them to their homes, he decided with the support of his family to quit his lucrative career and focus on helping struggling families. Mickelson put into place proper safety procedures and provided training courses for those helping out. And the results are impressive. Going from building 11 bunk beds in his garage, the charity had built 612 bunk beds by 2017. With the motto “No kid sleeps on the floor in our town,” the charity took off with 65 chapters nationwide, building and delivering over 1,500 beds throughout America.
The decision to give up a highly paid job to help those in need was an easy one for Mickelson.”I found that the need I have isn’t financial,” he said. “The need I have is seeing the joy on kids’ faces, knowing that I can make a difference.”
As Mickelson points out, a lot of these children don’t have many possessions in their lives; they might come from single families who are running away from abuse, or families who are really struggling to put food on the table. By giving them beds, the charity is also providing them a sense of self-worth, confidence, and the realization that there are people out there who care for them.
Fortunately for Michelson, after giving up his job he was offered another one that, while it pays a lot less, has allowed him to follow his true passion of helping children get a good night’s sleep.
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