A little boy from Illinois is going the extra mile to ensure that no child in his community has to sleep without a bed.
Tyler Sliz was only 4 years old when he learned about an organization through his church called Sleep in Heavenly Peace, which helps build, assemble and deliver bunk beds to children and families in need, CNN reported.
Though the Libertyville, Illinois resident looked forward to getting involved with their hands-on projects, he discovered he was too young at the time to participate, Tyler’s mother Jackie told the outlet.
“[Building beds] was something Tyler was wanting to do because he really likes carpentry work and working on projects with his dad,” she explained. “But to build the beds, you have to be 12 years old.”
That didn’t stop Tyler, now 5, from helping out in other ways.
Ahead of his birthday party this past October, the child asked that his guests bring pieces of bedding instead of gifts so that he could donate it to Sleep in Heavenly Peace, according to CNN.
“He told all of the guests that if they brought anything else, he wouldn’t play with it,” Jackie told the outlet.
Tyler’s party guests followed through with the selfless request, showing up to his celebration with bags of bedding sets, blankets, pillows, and sheets. The young boy even used the money he received from two partygoers to buy more bedding, his mom noted.
In the months following his birthday party, Tyler’s project has grown. He surpassed his goal of 100 bedding pieces around the holidays through donations from local businesses, including CD One Price Cleaners in Deerfield, and from Illinois State Rep. Mary Edly-Allen, according to Jackie’s Facebook page.
Today, he has proudly donated 125 pieces of bedding to Sleep in Heavenly Peace and says he has no plans of stopping as the checks continue to come in from people around his community.
Speaking to CNN, Tyler said he looks forward to eventually filling “my whole houseful” with blankets, pillows, and sheets.
Tyler’s dad Brad said his son’s birthday wish inspired their entire family to get involved by participating in a bed-building day with Sleep in Heavenly Peace on Nov. 3, when they brought the bedding sets.
“Jackie and I got to sand down a bunch of raw lumber. Tyler helped assemble the bolt bags with his grandparents and his great-grandmother,” Brad told CNN. “That was fun.”
In a post on their Facebook Nov. 4, Sleep in Heavenly Peace wrote, “Tyler and his family brought 11 sets of bedding and spend the day building beds! Four generations of his family were there on Sunday Making sure No Kid Sleeps on The Floor in His Town. This young man sure knows what’s important and has a great heart!”
Tyler’s work has also stood out to Dan Harris, the co-president of St. Joseph/Libertyville’s Sleep in Heavenly Peace chapter.
“[Tyler] is just a ray of joy,” Harris told CNN. “Everybody in the chapter loves hearing about Tyler and seeing him drop off the bedding.”
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The non-profit, volunteer organization is currently comprised of 183 chapters across 44 states and three countries, according to its website.
Harris’ Libertyville chapter focuses on helping children, ages 3 to 17, who currently live in the Lake, McHenry, and Cook counties near Chicago and do not have a bed, CNN reported.
“The one place kids go for refuge is their bed. Parents have to sometimes choose between having food on their table or heating their homes or having a bed,” Harris explained to the outlet. “So we make it easier for children to have a bed and we give the child something of their own.”