GRAFTON — More than 70 men at the Grafton Reintegration Center at Grafton Correctional Institution volunteered to help build beds for children in Lorain County through Sleep in Heavenly Peace on Saturday.
Sleep in Heavenly Peace, a nonprofit that builds beds for children in the county who don’t have one, partnered with the facility to provide the men a community service activity.
Warden LaShann Eppinger said the project aimed to give the inmates purpose and redemption through community service, and it fit into the mission of what they do at the facility.
“This is all about community,” he said. “They can give back to the community they’ll be coming back to someday.”
Sleep in Heavenly Peace has more than 160 chapters in the U.S. and two in Canada. Roger Dorsey, president of the Lorain County chapter, said it was a win-win for the nonprofit as it needs the beds and the men were willing to work.
Linda Simmons, a correctional counselor, had the idea to have the local chapter come to the facility. She said it was a perfect fit for what they try to do.
“They’re giving back,” she said. “A lot of them have good hearts. ... They’re proud of themselves today.”
The wood was precut, so the stations were set up and ready for the men to build about 20 beds. They were trained how to build and assemble the beds before getting started.
Lowe’s gives Sleep in Heavenly Peace chapters a 30 percent discount on wood and donates money to be dispersed among the local chapters. Lorain County’s received $5,000.
Simmons said that because Saturday also was a visitation day, many who wanted to sign up weren’t able to because they were visiting with their families. But she said that another building day could be in the future.