LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Thousands of kids in Jefferson County don't have a place to sleep. A local family is taking matters into their own hands as part of a national effort to change that, one bed at a time.
Tom Recktenwald can talk shop with the best of them. However, woodworking is not part of his background.
"Last year, I was sitting in my easy chair watching the evening news," Recktenwald said.
A story came on about Sleep in Heavenly Peace. As part of the initiative, people around the country build beds for kids who need them.
"How their faces lit up, I knew right then that's what I want to do with my time," Recktenwald said.
Recktenwald began operating out of his basement and running entirely on donations. The project has become a family affair.
"We've taken for granted our whole lives because we've always had our own bed," said Jack Recktenwald, Tom's son.
The organization's slogan is "no kid sleeps on the floor in our town."
"We've heard through Jefferson County Public Schools that over 3,000 kids in that system in Louisville don't have beds in their home, and we had no idea that the problem was that large," Tom said.
One by one, they're chipping away at that number, with around 40 beds delivered. "We've never run across a spot where they weren't thrilled to see us, and by that, it makes you want to do more," Jack said.
The same was true about their most recent trip on Saturday.
"When they see these colorful things with Cars and Dory and Little Mermaid and Nemo and all those, the kids, their eyes get as big as saucers," Tom said. "It's just so rewarding when that happens.
A priceless gift of a good night's sleep is giving a little something back in return. "It's been more than we ever thought it would be. It really has been," Jack said.
The family hopes build in a new, bigger workshop that's away from their home one day.
Copyright 2019 WDRB News. All rights reserved.