Benedictine’s Sleep in Heavenly Peace Named “Team of the Year”

Atchison Chamber Recognizes Group’s Work

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Patrick O'Malley (left) accepts the Team of the Year Award from Atchison Chamber Chairman of the Board Stephen WheatleyThe Benedictine College chapter of Sleep in Heavenly Peace (SHP) has been named the “2019 Team of the Year” by the Atchison Area Chamber of Commerce. The award was announced at the annual Chamber Banquet on January 25.

“Through much hard work and volunteers of all backgrounds and ages, this group is working diligently to make sure the kids of our community have beds to sleep in,” said Jacque Pregont, president of the Chamber. “This is a group of young people encouraging many volunteers throughout the area to become involved in a project that truly makes Atchison better for so many reasons.”

According to the award criteria, the honor recognizes a group, committee, or task force whose hard work and dedication has made a positive difference in the Atchison area.

“We have received so much support from the local businesses here in Atchison. They have embraced our mission and it has been truly humbling to have so many donors and volunteers helping us get these beds to local kids who would otherwise be sleeping on the floor,” said Patrick O’Malley, co-president of the Benedictine SHP chapter and associate professor in the college’s School of Engineering. “It was wonderful to receive the award at the banquet with so many of our supporters present.”

According to O’Malley, more children from struggling and needy families are sleeping on the floor than anyone realizes. It is a national problem and SHP, a national organization with chapters across the United States, is working to end it.

The Benedictine College chapter uses the expertise of Benedictine’s Engineering students and the Engineering Workshop to build beds. Volunteers are invited to attend “build days” to make durable, high quality bunkbeds and then the group delivers and assembles the beds, complete with new mattresses and bed linens.

“I think what we're doing with SHP is a great example of what can happen when the college and the community work together and are able to make a significant positive impact,” O’Malley said.

O’Malley accepted the award on behalf of the organization. The award was presented by the Chamber’s Chairman of the Board, Stephen Wheatley. Learn more about SHP and volunteer for a build day here.

Founded in 1858, Benedictine College is a Catholic, Benedictine, residential, liberal arts college located on the bluffs above the Missouri River in Atchison, Kansas. The school is proud to have been named in the Top 10 in the Midwest of America’s Best Colleges by U.S. News & World Report, the best private college in Kansas by The Wall Street Journal, and one of the top Catholic colleges in the nation by First Things magazine and the Newman Guide. It prides itself on outstanding academics, extraordinary faith life, strong athletic programs, and an exceptional sense of community and belonging. It has a mission to educate men and women within a community of faith and scholarship.

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