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Photos with Santa set for next two weekends in Pahrump

In a perfect world, the comfort and security of a warm, soft bed is something that all children would enjoy, but the unfortunate reality is that the world is not perfect.

All over the country and even right here in the Pahrump Valley, there are youngsters who do not have this basic life need.

Instead of crawling between the covers of their very own bed when darkness comes and sleep beckons, many children must take their nightly rest on a couch, a chair, an air mattress, or sometimes a hard floor, a situation that can have a profound effect on their ability to meet the challenges of everyday life, both physically and mentally.

It is with these heart-rending circumstances in mind that the national organization Sleep in Heavenly Peace was formed, a nonprofit dedicated to pulling together volunteers in communities across America to help fill the gap for those youngsters who have no bed to call their own.

The slogan, “No kid sleeps on the floor in our town,” has come to epitomize the organization and it is one that those who give their time, energy and enthusiasm to the cause take deeply to heart.

Here in the valley, the Nye County Chapter of Sleep in Heavenly Peace has been active for over two years, with local resident Gary Bennet getting it started in early 2019 and a plethora of beds having been built, assembled and delivered to the families of children in need, but there is still much work to do.

Now headed by resident Carmen Murzyn and a variety of volunteers, the Nye County Chapter of Sleep in Heavenly Peace is on a mission to continue the good work of this organization but community involvement is key.

In order to purchase the wood, bolts and other materials needed to construct the beds, and to fit those beds out with their own set of sheets and bedding, the group needs funding.

To that end, Sleep in Heavenly Peace is turning to one of the most common methods of generating cash for a good cause, fundraising.

Starting this Friday, Nov. 26 and all throughout the weekend, families, individuals and visitors who just want to lend a hand are invited out to the Salvation Army headquarters, where they will be able to take part in the Sleep in Heavenly Peace Photos with Santa event.

Those who cannot make it out this coming weekend will then have another chance the following weekend, with Sleep in Heavenly Peace volunteers holding a second round of Photos with Santa on Friday, Dec. 3 and Sunday, Dec. 5.

“We are hosting Photos with Santa this weekend and next to help bring in some money for Sleep in Heavenly Peace, so we can make sure that we have everything we need to build the beds that kids in our community deserve,” Murzyn told the Pahrump Valley Times. “It’s terrible to think that there are children here who don’t have a bed to call their own and we want to do everything we can to help with that. Kids need their own bed, their own personal space where they can feel safe and comfortable. Doing Photos with Santa is a great way to get the community involved with our group, to spread the word about what we are doing while also making happy Christmas memories for people in our town.

“Everyone is welcome to come out and get their photos taken, with their kids, their friends, their neighbors, even their pets!” Murzyn continued. “In addition to having Santa and Mrs. Claus there, we will also have a nice holiday backdrop that people can pose in front of. It’s just a win-win, with residents able to get a holiday keepsake or two, and Sleep in Heavenly Peace able to raise some funds to help our local youth.”

Photos with Santa or posing before the holiday backdrop will run $8.50 for one photo or $15 for two.

In the age of instant gratification, patrons will be delighted to know that they will not have to wait to receive their pictures, either, as all of them will be printed instantly on site.

The event will take place this Friday and Saturday, Nov. 26 and 27 from 2 to 7 p.m. as well as Sunday, Nov. 28 from 3 to 7 p.m.

The event will return the next weekend as well, with pictures being taken on Friday, Dec. 3 from 2 to 7 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 5 from 3 to 7 p.m.

The fundraiser will take place at the Salvation Army, 721 S. Buol Road, near the Star Nursery.

For more information on the national organization Sleep in Heavenly Peace or to sign up to receive a bed from a local chapter, visit www.SHPBeds.org

For more on the Nye County chapter and the Photos with Santa fundraiser reach out to Murzyn at 775-910-8921.

Contact reporter Robin Hebrock at rhebrock@pvtimes.com

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