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Alliant Energy Iowa volunteers help kids in their communities rest easier

A good night’s sleep has an enormous influence on a child’s development. Experts say kids who have their own beds with clean bedding tend to have better emotional regulation, improved academic performance and stronger immune systems.

Sleep in Heavenly Peace (SHP) is a national nonprofit with the motto “No kid sleeps on the floor in our town! ®”. Their mission is to build beds for kids who need them.

SHP is a popular nonprofit among Alliant Energy volunteers. Let’s meet some of the employees who donate their time to this important work.

Angie Leyden-Van Gundy is a senior manager of customer support services for Alliant Energy. After her first build at our office in Lisbon, Iowa, she felt moved to start an SHP chapter in her own community of Washington, Iowa.

This required two days of leadership training in Salt Lake City, Utah. Next she assembled a core team that now consists of friends, family, community members and other Alliant Energy employees, with ties to churches and service organizations.

The group’s first event took place in November 2023 with 50 beds built. Leyden-Van Gundy said the chapter is going strong and working on expanding to nearby areas.

Tyler Freye is an Alliant Energy manager of customer operations. His family has donated to SHP since 2016 when he first learned many kids in his community slept on floors.

In 2023, Line Mechanic Matthew Appelhans approached Freye about a space for the Jones County chapter to have a bed build. “[Appelhans] is a great example of living our company’s values,” said Freye. “I was on board immediately.”

The build took place this March at our Anamosa Operations Center. A group of 75 volunteers, 10 of them Alliant Energy employees Freye helped recruit, produced 40 beds in three hours. Our company also donated $2,500 toward the cost of the build.

Brad Weber is another manager of customer operations and a self-described construction guy. He volunteers with the Clinton, Iowa, SHP chapter.

Along with coordinating and participating in builds, which happen roughly quarterly, Weber travels with a team of two or three to assemble beds in family homes. He likes to see kids’ faces light up when they jump for joy on their new beds. It makes him want to do more, and to recruit friends.

“Once you go and participate in one bed build and find out the good SHP does,” said Weber, “that’s the hook that keeps you involved.”

As a company with a strong commitment to improving the communities we serve, we’re proud to support Sleep in Heavenly Peace.

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