Movie actor and TV host Mike Rowe (known for narrating shows on the Discovery Channel such as Dirty Jobs and on the National Geographic Channel such as How the Universe Works and Shark Week) is now hosting a Facebook Watch series called Returning the Favor. In the series, Mike Rowe travels the country featuring stories of those who are giving back to the community and surprising them with opportunities to take their work even further.
Recently, Returning the Favor featured the work of LDS father Luke Mickelson and his family from Twin Falls, Idaho, who make bunk beds for children in need. Their organization, Sleep in Heavenly Peace, has the motto, "No child sleeps on the floor in our town."
Mickelson made his first bunk beds back in 2012. He'd been having a bit of a faith crisis and decided that what he needed was to serve. He came across the perfect opportunity at church and ended up building 11 bunk beds in his garage. The project opened his eyes to how many children don't have beds, and he decided that he could do something about it. His organization now has nine chapters, all run by volunteers, and they're hoping to expand even further.
On the show, Rowe surprises the family and their group of volunteers by showing up at the old warehouse they use as a construction facility. Mickelson immediately recognizes Rowe and invites him to tour the facility. "It's efficient, all things considered, but it ain't pretty," Rowe says.
Mickelson, however, says that the nonprofit has come along way. "At the beginning, it was much worse than what you see today. We had dead rats and a pile of garbage and a bucket that you did your business in. It was interesting," Mickelson says.
"So, you're looking for volunteers and part of the package is you can freeze and sweat to death and poop in a bucket," Rowe returns.
"Correct, yes," Mickelson says.
Rowe accompanies Mickelson on a bunk bed delivery, where he gets to see firsthand the excitement of several young kids receiving their very first beds. Meanwhile, behind the scenes, Rowe's crew is moving Mickelson's shop into a brand new warehouse facility, with four years' rent pre-paid. Since Sleep In Heavenly Peace gets 60 requests for beds every single day, this new facility will help the organization meet that demand.
"A lot of people will benefit from it. A lot of kids. That's important," says Gerald, who owns the new building. "This is just more help for more kids."
You can see the episode, including the big reveal of the new warehouse, for yourself.