Friday, October 7, 2022

BIG IDEA: Dan Pellizzari, Mike and Shawna Horvath

Founders, Let’s Build Beds
Why You Should Know Them: They are the creators of a charity that, to date, has built over 2,000 beds for area children.

Almost two years ago, a chapter of the national organization, Sleep in Heavenly Peace, broke off to form a local nonprofit, rewriting its mission statement. Let’s Build Beds is entirely focused on helping the children of Northwest Ohio.

Founded and run by Dan Pellizzari, Mike and Shawna Horvath, the charity has been doing amazing work, partnering with various local corporations and schools that, last year, funded bed-building events twice a month. Based in Waterville, OH, the dynamic trio and their slew of volunteers are willing to drive roughly an hour in radius of their home base, serving Fulton, Henry, Lucas and Wood Counties— as well as parts of Defiance, Hancock, Lenawee, Monroe, Ottawa, Putnam, Sandusky, Seneca and Williams Counties.

Dan Pellizzari has over 27 years of public service, including serving in the United States Army. He is a proud dad of four, and grandpa to six. He also has an MBA in both accounting and finance. Mike Horvath has been working with Dana for 18 years, and is the founder of Let’s Build Beds. Shawna, his wife, has been with TPS for 24 years, is the President of Let’s Build, and owns two event venues.

All three started their charity work way back in July of 2018. Pellizzari clearly remembers his phone going off late one night.

“It was a text message from Mike saying, ‘Please watch this video and give me your thoughts.’ I watched about ten seconds and realized it was a mission to give beds to children without one. Without hesitation, I texted back and said, ‘I’m in. I’ll call you in the morning.”

A few of the quite impressive recent builds include building 150 beds in just six hours or delivering 100 beds in one day. In 2021 alone, they were able to get over 900 children lifted off of floors and into proper places to sleep. Since their start in 2020, the group has built 2400 beds. Though the ages of children that most need their help varies, they are always ready to build a bed for anyone aged 3-17. They welcome applicants to complete forms on their website, either for themselves or for someone they know, to assure that children, grandchildren, nieces, or nephews all have a warm, comfortable place to sleep every night.

Let’s Build Beds’ mission is easily interpreted by the volunteers attending the bed builds. “Mike [Horvath] does a really good job of making the builds inclusive, so for folks with a physical or mental challenge who want to participate, we make sure that we make adjustments so they can be involved, too,” explains Pellizzari.

Due to the need for large open outdoor spaces for the builds, the nonprofit only stages active builds from April-October. But their giving spirit is not diminished as the snow starts falling; They stock up on hundreds of beds through the winter months and they are always accepting donations of blankets, pillows, twin sheets and comforters so they are able to provide for the children that need them most. They have two drop boxes for donations:

Liberty Farm of Lambertville
8243 Monroe Rd.
Lambertville, MI 48144

Liberty House of Waterville
4 S. River Rd.
Waterville, OH 43566

For more information, visit Facebook or their website.


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