Instead of thinking about what he could get for his birthday, a little boy from Libertyville, Illinois, thought about what he could give.
Tyler Sliz, 5, knew of Sleep in Heavenly Peace, which helps build, assemble, and deliver bunk beds to children in need, through his church. He wanted to help build beds, but he’s too young and isn’t allowed.
“[Building beds] was something Tyler was wanting to do because he really likes carpentry work and working on projects with his dad,” Tyler’s mother, Jackie said. “But to build the beds, you have to be 12 years old.”
So instead, Tyler turned to donating bedding and what started out as a small birthday request has grown.
Ahead of his birthday party on Oct. 7, Tyler asked that his guests bring bedding instead of gifts so that he could donate it to Sleep in Heavenly Peace, according to CNN.
“He told all of the guests that if they brought anything else, he wouldn’t play with it,” Jackie said.
So, Tyler’s party guests showed up to his celebration with bags of bedding sets, blankets, pillows, and sheets. The little boy even used the money he received from two guests to buy more bedding rather than spending it on himself, Jackie said.
Tyler has proudly donated 125 sets of bedding to Sleep in Heavenly Peace and has no plans of stopping his efforts as the checks continue to come in from people around his community.
Tyler’s selfless act has even inspired his entire family to get involved—four generations of Sliz family members banded together in order to participate in a build day with Sleep in Heavenly Peace.
“Jackie and I got to sand down a bunch of raw lumber. Tyler helped assemble the bolt bags with his grandparents and his great-grandmother,” Brad said. “That was fun.”
Tyler’s work also stood out to Dan Harris, the co-president of St. Joseph/Libertyville’s Sleep in Heavenly Peace chapter.
“[Tyler] is just a ray of joy,” Harris said. “Everybody in the chapter loves hearing about Tyler and seeing him drop off the bedding.”
Harris also explained why their contributions are so valuable.
Harris stated, “The one place kids go for refuge is their bed. Parents have to sometimes choose between having food on their table or heating their homes or having a bed. So we make it easier for children to have a bed and we give the child something of their own.”