The drone of a dozen power sanders — punctuated by the drilling and sawing of lumber — filled the air on Collett Mall Saturday afternoon as Wilmington College students and staff assisted in building bunk-beds for Sleep in Heavenly Peace of Clinton County.
The occasion was WC’s 26th annual day of service formerly known as The Quake — now called The Swarm, as in a colony of busy bees getting it done.
Indeed, dozens of students swarmed work sites across the campus, city and the county, including sprucing up the downtown with Main Street Wilmington, Camp Kirkwood, WC Community Gardens, Camp Jabez, Faith Baptist Church, Cornerstone Baptist Church and the QRC, the latter of which is the College’s popular Quaker Recreation Center.
Among the Swarm was Sigrid Solomon, vice president for student affairs and dean of students, who praised all those students volunteering on a spring Saturday as living the mission of the College through two of its core values, service and community.
Carrie Zeigler, co-president of Sleep in Heavenly Peace, said this marked the organization’s “first on-site build,” as they hauled the wood, tools and supervisory volunteers to the home of the student labor force, rather than vice versa, as is the norm.
The organization’s motto is “No kid sleeps on the floor in our town,” and, after just a couple hours, she expected the 30 volunteers would have constructed 10 bunk-beds, which would immediately affect 20 children. Final assembly of the beds is done in the recipients’ homes.
“As soon as the students got here, they rolled up their sleeves,” she said, adding the organization is “thrilled to partner” with Wilmington College. “They’re hard workers — and they’re definitely not afraid of power tools!”
Zeigler said Sleep in Heavenly Peace has delivered 56 beds since February, but they currently have 68 children on the wait list — so volunteers and charitable funding are needed, as they have been receiving at least five requests a week for beds as word of the organization’s good deeds is spreading throughout the county.