Broadway Utica’s Bedding Drive Brings Comfort to Sleep In Heavenly Peace 

February 2, 2022

Broadway Utica’s Bedding Drive Brings Comfort to Sleep In Heavenly Peace 

It begins with a golden ticket. A single chance to visit a secured factory and win a lifetime supply of chocolate. However, for Charlie Bucket, the destitute young boy who’s spent his life among hardship, the ticket is a sign of hope, a welcomed opportunity for change – much like the arrival of a new bed from Sleep in Heavenly Peace

As Broadway Utica’s “Beyond the Stage” recipient for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Sleep in Heavenly Peace has been providing the Charlie Buckets of the world with a soft, comfortable spot to rest their heads and dream. 

The partnership with the Broadway Theatre League of Utica team will be instrumental in getting so many more kids off the floor and into a bed,” stated Theresa Swider, Volunteer Application/Delivery Coordinator for Sleep in Heavenly Peace. “I have no doubt that their enthusiasm will enhance our fundraising efforts, bring awareness to what we are doing, and support our mission that ‘No Kid Sleeps on the Floor in our Town!’”

Last year, Theresa picked up the hammer and joined the efforts of Sleep In Heavenly Peace in hopes of making a dent in the nation’s child problem of children not having beds.  

“My family is the type that when one person jumps in, we all jump in. So when my brother Steve started the Utica Chapter of Sleep in Heavenly Peace we committed to the organization as well,” Theresa explained. “Coming in I had no experience building a bed or using power tools. Now, I’ve grown pretty comfortable with some of the tools and building beds. I even supervise others sanding and building headboards.”

While most of the volunteers at SIHP are responsible for building, assembling, and delivering beds for youth, Theresa has the intimate experience of meeting and learning about the families applying for a child’s bed.

“Seeing a mother’s tears of gratitude or the smiles on a kid’s face makes what we do so worthwhile and fulfilling. There is nothing more humbling than delivering a bed to a child who tells you they’ve never had a bed of their own before.”

One on occasion Theresa met a mother escaping a domestic situation. In an effort to protect her family, the mother had fled their home and was living in a raw space without a stitch of furniture. 

“This woman needed four beds for her children. Yet, as we walked inside the home, there wasn’t even a chair to sit on. It was simply a bare space with blankets to sleep on the floor.”

Moments like these have been embedded in Theresa’s mind. A moving picture of why she can never give up or let go of the gratitude she feels when it comes from the support and generosity of the community. 

  Our families are truly grateful for the gift of a bed they’re receiving, and we’re grateful for all the volunteers and donations that make that moment possible.”  

To help children believe in possibilities – just like Charlie in the Chocolate Factory – Broadway Utica has invited the community to participate in a bedding drive to bring comfort with each bed delivered. Donations are being collected at their home office, located at 258 Genesee Street in Utica, and during the premiere of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory on February 8th and 9th at The Stanley Theatre. For more information on how you can help bring comfort to every child, visit them at or call (315) 624-9444. 









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