Sleep In Heavenly Peace and Broadway Utica Raise The Curtain on Children’s Comfort

January 19, 2022

Sleep In Heavenly Peace and Broadway Utica Raise The Curtain on Children’s Comfort

It was the Fourth of July. The anticipation of fireworks, barbeques, and independence hung in the air. Yet, for Alyssa, and her four children, the day’s festivities would come to a halt as their home erupted in flames. 

Firemen would stand inside the blackened home, its walls still trickling with water, and mark the cause of the fire as an electrical shortage in the oven. 

Alyssa cradled her children, all of whom were safe but notably shaken, as she took in their charred lifeless home. Panic filled her chest as she scrounged through belongings, hoping to salvage as much of their lives as she could.  

“We lost everything that day,” Alyssa reflected. “One minute we were getting ready for the day and the next we were looking for a place to sleep.”

Neighbors and members of the community rallied together to bring clothes, food, household needs, and a few used mattresses to the two-room apartment Alyssa obtained for her family.

“I was sleeping on blankets on the floor so my children could cram onto the mattresses,” Alyssa stated. “I was concerned for all my children and wondering how I was going to get out of this situation and provide a better life for them.”

Prior to the fire, Alyssa had faced the loss of her mother and the adaptation of working with her children who’d been learning virtually due to COVID.   

“I have a special needs child so everything already seemed like a struggle prior to the fire,” Alyssa reiterated. “I felt alone and lost. My son’s therapist reached out and told me about a new group, Sleep in Heavenly Peace, that was building beds for children in need.”  

It was a shot in the dark. There was a long list of families in need, but Alyssa waited patiently, praying as she lay on the floor beside her children for an answer. 

On November 20th, just days before Thanksgiving, Alyssa and her children received that answer.

Sleep In Heavenly Peace arrived with a bed for every one of my children. We sat back and watched as they assembled bunk beds and decorated them in new bedding. Watching them pull fresh, new pillows and sheets out of plastic covers finally broke me. I couldn’t contain my tears or my gratitude for what these individuals had just brought to our home.”  

Alyssa’s children could not contain themselves either. They ran into their rooms and jumped into their very own beds, testing out their pillows and slipping between the fresh new sheets – all by themselves.

“I relate to how Charlie must have felt living in one room and sharing a bed with everyone. It gets crowded, hectic, and can leave you feeling less than. But, like Charlie, my family was blessed to have someone believe in us and give us the chance to come back to our home with a little more than we had when we left.

“My family and I are extremely thankful for what Sleep in Heavenly Peace has given us. Their help and added attention pulled us from beneath the trauma and showed us that, even as a single parent with five kids, you can rebuild your life. If there is one thing I can offer from all of this, it’s that no one should ever feel bad about asking for help and that all help, no matter how small, leaves a mark.”

Looking to be part of that mark, Broadway Theatre League of Utica selected Sleep in Heavenly Peace as their “Beyond The Stage” recipient for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and invited the community to donate bedding to bring comfort with each build.   

 “Providing a resource that fills children with hope and the ability to go to sleep in their very own bed, with all the comforts as any other boy and girl, brings more than we will probably ever know. For that reason, I’d like to give a big thank you to everyone who donates their time and support to make this opportunity a reality for children – and that goes right down to donating new bedding,” Alyssa stated.

Broadway Utica is collecting donations at their home office, located at 258 Genesee Street in Utica, and also during the premiere of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory on February 8th and 9th at 7:00pm 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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