Better Together with Kosta Yepifantsev

Executive to Activist: Leading with Purpose with Trevor Larsen

January 30, 2023 Kosta Yepifantsev Season 2 Episode 54
Executive to Activist: Leading with Purpose with Trevor Larsen
Better Together with Kosta Yepifantsev
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Better Together with Kosta Yepifantsev
Executive to Activist: Leading with Purpose with Trevor Larsen
Jan 30, 2023 Season 2 Episode 54
Kosta Yepifantsev

Join Kosta and his guest: Trevor Larsen, Chapter President of Sleep In Heavenly Peace, a non-profit organization building and delivering beds to children without a place to sleep.

In this episode: How Sleep in Heavenly Peace is helping build and deliver beds/bedding to every needy child in the Upper Cumberland. How Trevor started working with SiHP after early retirement from his position as a Global Disney Executive. Our local bed building process from start to finish. The number of children in the Upper Cumberland that are sleeping without a bed and how volunteers and community members can help. 

Better Together with Kosta Yepifantsev is a product of Morgan Franklin Media and recorded in Cookeville, TN.

Find out more about Sleep in Heavenly Peace:
https://shpbeds.org/chapter/tn-cookeville/

Find out more about Kosta and all the ways we're better together:
http://kostayepifantsev.com/

Show Notes Transcript

Join Kosta and his guest: Trevor Larsen, Chapter President of Sleep In Heavenly Peace, a non-profit organization building and delivering beds to children without a place to sleep.

In this episode: How Sleep in Heavenly Peace is helping build and deliver beds/bedding to every needy child in the Upper Cumberland. How Trevor started working with SiHP after early retirement from his position as a Global Disney Executive. Our local bed building process from start to finish. The number of children in the Upper Cumberland that are sleeping without a bed and how volunteers and community members can help. 

Better Together with Kosta Yepifantsev is a product of Morgan Franklin Media and recorded in Cookeville, TN.

Find out more about Sleep in Heavenly Peace:
https://shpbeds.org/chapter/tn-cookeville/

Find out more about Kosta and all the ways we're better together:
http://kostayepifantsev.com/

Trevor Larsen:

I describe it as, you know, you do a delivery and half your heart is broken and half your heart is made whole, to see some of the conditions these kids are living in. It's hard, you know, it's hard to see that you want to solve everything. But boy if you can solve their bed lessness that's huge. And so when you leave and you see him run around, and they're thrilled, and it's like Christmas morning, you know, it's like, okay, I want to do this again.

Morgan Franklin:

Welcome to Better Together with Kosta Yepifantsev, a podcast on parenting business and living life intentionally. We're here every week to bring you thoughtful conversation, making your own path to success, challenging the status quo, and finding all the ways we're better together. Here's your host, Kosta Yepifantsev.

Kosta Yepifantsev:

Hey, y'all, this is Kosta! And today, I'm here with my guest, Trevor Larson, chapter president of Sleep in heavenly peace, a nonprofit organization building and delivering beds to children without a place to sleep. Trevor, I want to start from the beginning, like all of us, your life reset during the pandemic, and you decided to have an early retirement from Disney and move to Cookeville. Will you tell us about this transition and why you move to the upper Cumberland? Sure.

Trevor Larsen:

I had a great 31 year career at Disney. My parents have lived up here almost 40 years. And so we would always come up on vacation. Thanksgiving, for sure. And at least one other trip. We got five kids and they just they loved it up here. So we always had a kind of our heart chakra was for Cookeville when the pandemic hit, and everybody was working from home. We had bought a home up here a few years prior. And I said Well, hey, you know if we can work from home, I'm gonna work from Cookeville. So we came up here, and boy, that really changed my whole point of view. I like working from home. First of all, it was nice spending time with maybe not traveling so much. I had a worldwide job. I was all over the globe. But then I kind of figured out that I was a little jealous watching her outside, we've got kind of a hobby farm, okay, and I'm like, I don't want to be on the Zoom calls. You know, I want to be out there working, you know, working the land or whatever with her. So when things started easing up with the pandemic, I was heading back to do a visit of the property. And i just i My heart was heavy. I'm like, I don't want to go. And I got to Chattanooga in the squatty Valley. And if you've been in the squatty Valley, it's beautiful. To me, that was always I'm home. I'm home in Tennessee when I hit the squatty Valley. So I'm heading southbound. And I just don't want to go and I get a text from AD and the first text is I miss you. And the second text was come home. And so I pulled off on Louis Chapel Road. I made a U turn amazed texted my boss. I'm not coming back. And I headed back to Cookeville it so she's like, What do you do? And I said, Well, I'm I'm not going to work at Disney anymore. So I ended up working another year helping them get through the pandemic shuttled properties down, bring it back up, but that was really the genesis.

Kosta Yepifantsev:

What what did you do at Disney? Like what was your position?

Trevor Larsen:

I started out as an engineer, junior engineer and my first seven years I was with Walt Disney Imagineering first child was born in California, we relocated out there, okay. And we design rides and political job, right. You know, as a young engineer, if you're in the Tower of Terror does You're right. Yes.

Kosta Yepifantsev:

I mean, it's terrifying. So well, and so we were talking about our trip to Disney. And first, I don't like roller coasters. First ride that I ride when I get to Disney is the Yeti Yes. at Animal Kingdom. And it's the the fastest in my opinion. It was the worst ride like scariest ride. And I was like, Oh my gosh, here I go. Like I'm already like mentally preparing for the rest of this trip to be just like ridiculously fast and scary roller coasters. So I personally did not ride tariff tear I did when I was a child. Right. But this past trip, I didn't. But Louis and our babysitter Carly did and they loved they actually play the song that they play while you're riding on the ride driving to daycare almost every day. I love it.

Trevor Larsen:

I love I had the good fortune to be on the design team for tower of tear nice. And it was wonderful. The General Motors test track that's a little tamed down. John Yeah. So I mean, you know, I had just loved starting out at Disney and after about seven years moved into management and you know, more money less fun. Sure. And then you know, that really the balance of my career was spent and leading people in big teams.

Kosta Yepifantsev:

Where did you end up like, what was the last position that you had last position? I

Trevor Larsen:

was executive vice president over what's called worldwide Facilities and Operations services. Amazing. We had responsibility. Basically, if it broke, it was on me. Yeah. And so if you walked up to Space Mountain, then it wouldn't run in. That's on me. If your hot water around your hotel that was on me, it's a busy job. They were the guy. Big team.

Kosta Yepifantsev:

So I want to try to connect the dots. So you've got this very lucrative and very established position at Disney. You've got this kind of like, you know, a little second home probably a place that you bought in Cookeville just when you came and visited your parents, right? What was it about cook fill in, you know that time in your life that made you say, I'm not coming back

Trevor Larsen:

candidly, part of it was I just I'd spent so much time working and on the road. Now I always made family a priority number one,

Kosta Yepifantsev:

I mean, it gives you five kids slough,

Trevor Larsen:

I always said that I worked less than any other executive at Disney. I think I did, you know, because I was home for the wrestling match, and whatever. But for me, I just felt like there was a new chapter upon us, and turning the page and being home full time with MIDI meant a lot. Being up here close with my parents, you know, they're getting up in years, that meant a lot. And it really wasn't hard. I mean, really decision was like, you know, they say, you know, when it's time and it was time, and I knew it's like, yep, time to start a new chapter.

Kosta Yepifantsev:

What was like the first year of living in Cookeville? Like, oh, my God, where do you move from? First off from Orlando. Okay, so you're in big city, Orlando. Yeah. What's first year, like

Trevor Larsen:

we were always based out of Orlando? Well, we always want to property. So we bought 75 acres, what kind of a side of a mountain rolling hills the first couple years really was trying to kind of tame that property, which I love, you know, big tractor and a bunch of outdoor work and house projects and whatnot. But you know, that really fell in love with the people. I can remember telling me the simple story, go to the grocery store, and I would see all these, like, they're two carts together all over the place to grocery carts. Yeah. And I'm thinking what's going on here. And finally, it hit me, oh, people aren't rushing to get groceries in the minimum amount of time. Yeah, they're actually talking to people. And like saying, hello. And as we met more friends and people up here, then suddenly, we would stop at the grocery store. And we would talk and say hello. And I just loved it. I loved it was, you know, it's kind of a big little city or a little big city. And

Kosta Yepifantsev:

it's an incredible sense of community. And like we were talking about, you know, I grew up playing hockey. So I've lived in Atlanta, I lived in Tulsa and Fort Worth, Texas, big cities, even small towns, I'd never been to a place like Cookeville it took me a while to fall in love, I guess. But also, when I moved here, I was 20, like full time moved here. I was 23. Right. So it was it's a little bit of a different, you know, pace than I was used to in Nashville. But

Trevor Larsen:

we need more 23 year olds to move here well, and the career that's all about

Kosta Yepifantsev:

economic development and bringing, you know, successful companies that are focused on the future of our economy. But that's another podcast for another day. It is, in my opinion, the best place to raise a family. And it has so much potential. I mean, literally, if you could just find innovative businesses and things like that, to take it to the next level. The foundation of cokeville is already here. And it's good. And it's solid, nothing is going to be able to change it at this point. So we can only build up from here essentially. So can I talk a little bit about your background like growing up and stuff like that? You're an engineer and your father was an engineer. But the story of both your successes isn't as straightforward as an occupation title. Tell us about how your childhood and watching your parents work has shaped you now as a philanthropist.

Trevor Larsen:

Well, first of all, I never thought of myself as a philanthropist. That's interesting title. Well, you are well thank you love people. You know, we we grew up really just dirt poor. And I say that I mean it my my parents graduate high school had two kids, I was this the second my older sister three years older, and they lived in a an eight foot wide by 40 foot long trailer, painted black, no air conditioning in Florida, in sugar, sand, dirt poor. That's where we started, you know, they said no, this isn't going to work. We got to work our way out of poverty. And so my mom as a secretary, judicial secretary, really supported the family. And for eight years, my dad went to night school to get his AAA. Then he took off three more years full time and went to what's now UCF at the time, it was Florida Technological University and got his engineering degree. So I was 11. When he graduated, I was at his graduation. I'm like, Go dad, and I don't know ever since I was, you know, first grader I knew I wanted to be an engineer. People want to be a firefighter or police man, whatever. And I'm like, now it'd be an engineer. I can't even spell it. But that's what I want to do.

Kosta Yepifantsev:

They focus on education. Did they tell you how important it was?

Trevor Larsen:

To me, it was never even an issue. It was like you're gonna go heads down getting the best grades you can you're gonna go to college, you're gonna get a good job, you know, good education. And they really push that, you know, I ended up at Georgia Tech, which is out of state tuition, right early in their career. And they're like, No, we're gonna make this work, you know, and we, they even told me, We don't want you to have a job. We want you to focus on your education and your studies. And if you do that, then, you know, we'll we'll make it work.

Kosta Yepifantsev:

Yeah. Were you living in poverty throughout your entire childhood? Or did they get out

Trevor Larsen:

when you're a kid? You don't realize? Sure. But yes, so when I was? Well, probably up to age 11, I would say we were pretty much living in poverty, maybe a little above

Kosta Yepifantsev:

that, you know, but when did you know like, Oh, this is different. something's changed some for the better. Of course,

Trevor Larsen:

I don't know. We always just live so humbly, in a good way. And I never wanted for anything, I mean, we've always had plenty of food and whatnot. But I guess when I went to school when I went to Atlanta, you know, Wow, big city. Yeah. You know, what is this? And I was telling you earlier, you know, I don't think I ever went to a restaurant when I was in college, you know, but you know, you drive around and you see, man, there's a whole different life out here. Yeah, that's probably what it really

Kosta Yepifantsev:

opened my eyes. The overarching question is, have you ever eaten at the varsity?

Trevor Larsen:

Absolutely, yeah. You got to the frozen orange, right? That's a steal.

Kosta Yepifantsev:

There was a Facebook article, it was a scam article that came out that the varsity was closing the downtown location. Oh my gosh. And so me and my friend Jim, who is from Stone Mountain, Georgia, we went down to the UGA ut game this past season. And I was like, Listen, man, like, we got to go to the varsity. It's closing like, this may be the last chance and we get there, right. So we will go to we get to the varsity. We walk in and we get up to the counter, you know, and everybody's like, it's always like, hey, you know, make sure your orders ready. Don't waste any time, you know, etc. And I'm like, Hey, listen, you think I can ask them if they're really going to be closing? Or when when the last day is, you know, and they just looked at us like, What are you talking about? We're not closing. So come to find out that there was actually a fake story is probably their marketing team. Brilliant. I really was. Yeah, because I hadn't been in the varsity in ages. I love it. Alright, let's talk about sleep and heavenly peace and how you started working with this organization? What is the mission? And how did you found the chapter?

Trevor Larsen:

Sure, thank you. When we got up here, and it didn't see, we saw how generous the community was. So my parents were a big part of Habitat for Humanity. They ended up building a house in honor of my grandmother, who was just wonderful. You know, as we transitioned up here, I knew we wanted to be part of the community and make our impact and difference. I didn't know how. And so we're going to help build houses for Habitat. What were we going to do? We ended up building media, big workshop on our property. She's very talented woodworker. It took about a year and my parents helped a lot. And we had different friends and our kids helped come up and help. And when we got it done, and I gave her the keys, if you will, to the building and our certificate of occupancy. CEO, we were just talking were like, is there a way to use this for a higher purpose? Yeah, there's nothing wrong with building cool furniture and tables and whatnot. But is there something we could do bigger? So we were laying in bed one night, and we were talking about that, and it was heavy on our heart, and I think she drifted off, but I'm using the first one to sleep but she drifted off. I remember sleeping heavenly peace. There was a friend of ours that started a chapter in Orlando, okay, wanted me to be involved. And of course, me it was not an option too busy. But I looked it up, I researched a little research on it. And it seemed like such a quality organization. So I thought, well, maybe we can go volunteer at one of these. And maybe that's our mission. So like a lot of things. There weren't any chapters around. There are chapters in Knoxville, Nashville and Chattanooga, nothing in Cookeville. So unless you're gonna drive two hours, and so I thought, well, you know, why don't we just start chapter in Cookeville. You

Kosta Yepifantsev:

know, you know how substantial it is. The fact that you started a chapter in cocoa, I love it. It's incredible.

Trevor Larsen:

It's cool. Literally, like 3am, I nudged her on the shoulder and said, Hey, honey, I just hit send on our application to start a chapter. And then it just it ran like wildfire. We end up putting the core team together. And we had an introduction with that organization. And they were just first class, I ended up doing some Google searches on them, like there's got to be a lawsuit or there's got to be a bad press or nothing. I mean, just positive, positive everything. So it was an organization that their brand fit with our heart and our desire. And they make it really easy. They're just a top notch organization, what's their mission. So their mission is no kid sleeps on the floor in our town. And they try to replicate that in as many towns as possible. So they have about 300. And I think 320 chapters now across the US,

Kosta Yepifantsev:

you know, when we were talking, you've got five kids, one of them is adopted. Yes. And you have some experience working with DCS. And I didn't get a chance to ask you, but is that DCS in Tennessee, or DCS in Florida, in Florida? Okay. I'm not going to make this whole podcast about the current state of DCs in Tennessee, but you know that there are a lot of issues that DCS is facing. And one of them is the lack of foster families and kids sleeping on conference tables and in conference rooms. And I'm trying to draw a parallel and hopefully you can expand on this. You're starting this organization that's designed to give beds to children and to help kids who are living in abject poverty, something that you know, I know, I'm not saying that you've never slept in the bed, but you know, something that you have some experience in, right, you know, what it's like to struggle? Or how often did you think about helping those kids in DCs and providing them a safe place? Or were you focusing on just regular kids in the community? I'm trying to understand the scope of your problem.

Trevor Larsen:

No, we have, you know, like I said, we had four kids. We started doing foster care, and we ended up adopting through DCS and Florida. Listen, the issues that Tennessee has Florida has that it's the same it's all over. It's a bit of a mess. These guys but they put their heart into it. I mean, the K As workers, they just put their heart into it. So when we got involved with the Sleep in heavenly peace, we knew that to have a placement for a child, there had to be a room and their own bed. And so we knew that from our time with them. So it wasn't a surprise that DCS has been one of the channels that we've used to place kids. And so the school system, huge, huge channel, DCS a huge channel. And then Facebook, social media, I think is another one.

Kosta Yepifantsev:

How many beds have you guys bill?

Trevor Larsen:

Well, let's see. I think you said this is your 93rd. It is podcast. We've built 93 beds, amazing. And your honor to talk about

Kosta Yepifantsev:

that. It's funny how life works out and it is. So like you're working through all these different channels. Do you ever just have people reach out to you like independently and tell you their story, and then you go and meet them and you provide a bed to these families who can't afford. And I know this sounds strange, can't afford to buy a bed,

Trevor Larsen:

it hits you hard. One of the biggest surprises to me, I think is about a third of the beds that we've delivered have been to grandparents, and its grandparents taken in the grandkids because of you know, the kids got off track for a myriad of reasons, you know, many of which you've probably talked on these podcasts. And so my mom has a lifelong friend here in Cookeville. She has now extended family that was struggling. And the grandmother ended up taking in kids and didn't have beds. And by the way, she was one of our first donor. She's been a big supporter, this friend. And so she like you know, you think all this stuff is anonymous? Oh, there's anonymous person and living standards are in Cookeville. Somewhere that needs a bed. Well, this turned out to be next to family just about and she's like, well, you know, do you think we could provide them beds? And I'm like, absolutely 100%. And so we ended up delivering beds. And my mom was on the delivery. And her friend was there and the family was there. And it's you know, it was very personal. Yeah, this wasn't just a random case somewhere. So yeah, it really makes a connection.

Kosta Yepifantsev:

I'm somewhat of like a stats guy. And you built 93 beds in how long has he has a chapter been founded for?

Trevor Larsen:

We did our first build in September. Okay.

Kosta Yepifantsev:

I mean, that's what, four or five months or what's Yeah, four months, and you've built 93 beds? How does that compare to the other chapters in Tennessee? I'm just curious. I don't know if you know that information. But yeah,

Trevor Larsen:

no, no, they listen, there are these mega chapters that will do 600 800 beds a year, but you're on track? Well, I don't know, oh, my goodness, we set some goals. When we first started, I can wrap my head around four builds a year 50 beds, a build 50 beds is a lot of beds to build in one build. But that's 200 a year, you know, if we got some help, and we'll talk about that, you know, how we got some help. And somebody that said, hey, I want to help manage these builds as well, we could definitely kick that up. I think there's a need, there's more of a demand that I would have ever imagined, you know, before it started.

Kosta Yepifantsev:

So you were a vice president at Disney? Yes. What strategies are you taking from corporate leadership to this project?

Trevor Larsen:

You know, one of the ones most directly when I was a busy executive, and they came to me and tapped me on the shoulder, as I kind of grew, it grew in the executive ranks. And they said, Look, one of our founding values is Disney is to give back to the community. And so they said, We want you to serve on a local board. You know, that's, you know, a lot of our executives do that. And I said, Okay, I didn't know what that meant. So I started on the Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida, big eye opener, you know, these are people that are kind of later in their journey that need a lot of help. And as I did, as I got into that, I really enjoyed it. And I enjoyed giving back. But I really wanted to try to catch people earlier in their journey. And so there's a big boys and girls club in Orlando, one of the biggest in the US, they cover multiple counties. And I went to our committee relations team said, hey, I want to be on that board, as I want to catch these guys earlier in their life. And so they said, Wow, you know, that's a pretty big position, we're not sure if I can get you on there. But they did. They ended up there was an opening, they put me on the board, and I loved it. You know, these were kids interest, mostly inner city kids, and they would provide services so that the parents could have a second job or a third job, and the kids would be in a safe place. And they would help them focus on their education. That's the other thing I really, really dug about Boys and Girls Club. But you know, there's not a Boys and Girls Club here. But that that was probably one of the big connections, the value of you gotta get back to your community that this thing promotes.

Kosta Yepifantsev:

Do you think the fact that you had to manage such a massive role, you know, and you had to be a very effective at your job? Obviously, you were effective, because you did it for 30 years, and you kept getting promoted? Right? When you are operating this organization? Do you apply some of those strategies I and I just I want to know because I'm curious because I love I love the operational side of things. I'm going to ask you at the end the real important question, but I'm just curious, do you manage this as he would a VP and at Disney like do you have goals benchmarks? Do you have a profit and loss you know, are you you know, looking at the Cost of things and making predictions, you know, are you looking to hire people? Are you putting out ads, stuff like that,

Trevor Larsen:

you know, in a lot of ways, I'll say on one side of it, Disney ruined me because I did have such a big team and such great leaders roomy, there was somebody to do everything. So fast forward, here, it's just us, strapping when I say it's just us. There are a lot of parallels. So I learned early on, you can't be successful on your own, you gotta have a team gotta have a good team. So we did, we put together a core team here in Cookeville, 17 people, many of the people that are on our core team had been on your podcast, and these are people that love the community. And we're so fortunate to have that. So that that was kind of one parallel, you got to have a team put together, we did get together before our first build. And we set chapter goals and said, Hey, for the first 30 days, 6090, maybe the first year, these are our goals, we've completely blown those out of the water. And so you know, clearly we underslung and overhead, if you will, sure I've never done fundraising personally, I've never done that, you know, kind of scared to death, like I don't want to walk around my handout and shuffle every time you see me going, Oh, he's gonna ask for money for beds. And I don't want to be that guy. But you have to be strategic. And so you have to figure out who are folks in town that you believe, share your same mission and your heart. And it's an easy mission. I remember we went to training, they said, Look, you're not out trying to get money from people, you're just trying to share your vision and your mission. And there will be people that want to join you in that. And that's what we found, you know, Cookeville is, as we talked one of the most generous communities that I know of that I've ever experienced. And frankly, it's been much easier than I thought. Some people want to give pillows and bedding which is awesome. We need that other people want to write a big check and say, hey, look, you know, we help you get your tools in place.

Kosta Yepifantsev:

What's the process look like? How do people reach out for support? To try and get one of the beds that you built? Who builds them? How did they get delivered, you know, from start to finish, if you could kind of give us a general synopsis

Trevor Larsen:

it is one of the coolest things. So we tell our process. So what we did is to build a chapter you start with, you've got to go get a bunch of tools, and you got a bunch of volunteers. So that core team is what we started with. And then we we put together with at CHOP saws and sanders and drills and whatnot. So we had to do a bunch of fundraising for that. Lowe's is a huge sponsor shout out to these guys. They put a couple of million dollars a year into the into the national level, all of that money 100% of that money, sifts its way out to our chapter. We've been a recipient of Lowe's grants since the beginning, then the local Lowe's here, you know, we've gone to them, they can do whatever they want. And they've given us all our stuff at cost or below. And so we've really had a big launch. I got it. I said, big shout out to Lowe's, corporate and Lowe's local. Another shout out to CrossFit mayhem. We're members there. We've been there, you know, since we started coming up, if you know, the Froning family, you know, there's some of the most generous people in the world. And they like to give back. And so one of our first interactions with them was doing events for like the credit crisis pregnancy center. And we did a big a couple of big fundraisers with them on for Mustard Seed ranch. And so that was kind of our build. So when we started this Josh Malone, he's the head coach there. He said, I want to be a part of this. Well, rich had recently started mayhem, mission and mayhem mission is his way to give back to the world. And so he does a lot of international work where they also wanted to do local stuff. You know, mayhem was one of our first donors. And they said, We want to host your build. And in fact, you know, Josh was like, we want to host all your builds. So yeah, so we did our first build there and September, that our second build in December, once we had, you know, good community support our tools in place, you schedule a build day. Our next build is scheduled for February 25. love to have you join us. Sure, really any skills, but I don't know. No, no. I've been in a doghouse. But so you know, we post this and we get volunteers we had almost 100 people at our last build. And it is a big production line. So this gets into the front of the production assembly line. And it starts from raw lumber at the front end, and goes to the cut station and people measure and cut the wood. From there it goes to sanding, it sounds like a bunch of BS like a beehive all the Sanders Bernie Sanders would and then it just progresses from there into you know, drilling and assembly. And then finally the bed gets branded. That's one of the cool things that that somebody says they have this cool brand and you put in the fire and you know, the smoke comes up. That's your Instagram moment, if you will, then it stained. And when we're done, you end up with stacks and stacks of headboards inside rails. And those all go back to our place and take up about 25% of my bar. And it's also

Kosta Yepifantsev:

so you do the build at one of these off site locations where like all these people come and take the raw materials and help make them into something that you can assemble. And then you take those materials to your barn and you assemble them they're

Trevor Larsen:

well they're they're assembled so we okay, you just store them in your body store with the board. Yeah, so we have headboards and footboards The final assembly is done on site. So we deliver every bed and we assemble it in the child's room with a mattress bedding sheets, you know, pillows, the whole nine yards when we leave, it's a huge deliver you and your wife, you guys deliver the team? Yeah, our team does. Yeah. And that's actually, you know, we, we'd love to get more delivery teams,

Kosta Yepifantsev:

what satellite,

Trevor Larsen:

oh, my gosh, I describe it, as you know, you do a delivery and half your heart is broken, and half your heart is made whole. Now to see some of the conditions these kids are living in, it's hard, you know, it's hard to see that, you know, you want to solve everything. But boy, if you can solve their bed lessness, that's huge. And so when you leave, and you see a run around, and they're thrilled, and it's like Christmas morning, you know, it's like, okay, I want to do this. Again,

Kosta Yepifantsev:

I've talked to a lot of people on this podcast about a wide range of topics that revolve around poverty. And you kind of said it earlier. And I think it's important to bring it up. Those kids don't know that they're poor, right? They're not going to ask for a bed, if they've never slept on a bed. And they don't understand the benefits of that of having a bed. We could be here for hours talking about it. I'm just I think it's amazing that there is an organization, there's people like you and your wife and the support and the teams that you've been able to build, to give people something that they don't even know that they need. And to do it, just out of the kindness of your own heart. There's no profit center, there's no end game. So like I said, there's a big question at the end that I'm going to ask. So how do we get involved? And what kind of volunteers do you need? And also, obviously, what kind of skills are you looking for right now?

Trevor Larsen:

Sure, if you Google Sleep in heavenly peace, you'll see the national chapter come up. If you drill down, Tennessee Cookeville, you'll find our chapter page that's our chapter page has all our information on it. That's our website, landing page. If you're in Facebook, if you Google Sleep in heavenly peace, and then you put in TN dash Cookeville, you'll find our chapter page in Facebook. And there you'll find a lot more cool stuff. We put photos up of deliveries that the parent, you know, if the parents allow us to, and most of them do, you know, we tell them look, you know, the more we can share a smiling face of a child and a bed, the more people wanna get involved in it. Like we want to help that way. And so there's just really cool, sorry. So those are the two ways that you can, you can connect with us, as far as skills we're looking for to do the build. The build is the fun part. You really don't have to have any skills. We'll train you, you know, if you've maybe you've never used a job, sorry, never used a drill or a tape measure, you'll leave with some skills he didn't come with. And I encourage you bring your kids. Yeah, we'll ask all the time you bring kids, my kids grew up in the garage, they grew up with tools. I think it's a huge part of you know, learning. And we've had multiple families just leave with the biggest smiles because their kids had a good time.

Kosta Yepifantsev:

So the next build is February 25, February 25. And where's it at?

Trevor Larsen:

Right now? It's at CrossFit mayhem. Okay, seeing that it's February, and when we build it, it's outside there, we may end up trying to find an indoor location, just just for the winter bill. But yeah.

Kosta Yepifantsev:

So before we wrap up, I wanted to ask you about the most impactful experience you've had throughout your journey so far.

Trevor Larsen:

over Thanksgiving, our kids always come to Cookeville every Thanksgiving, all our kids coming down. And we had a request for five beds in one family. And so you know, there's always this curiosity, what's your story? What's the situation there? Well, when we called and my mom does the bedding she calls and does the bedding on all the applications my sister does the finances. I mean, it's so cool how our families kind of connected here, look, we'll do this, but it was a grandmother. Like I said, you know, one of about a third of them, were grandmothers is a grandmother that the kids again, off track, she wanted to take the kids in DCs wouldn't place him without having beds. And so we went there. And we built five beds in this in her trailer. And the one of the most special things is that our son and his wife went with us. And it was just just amazing to you know, have them a part of it and kind of touch it and see it because you know, you hope you pass these values down. You know, I got this for my parents, we want to give it to our kids. And so when we left, you had five kids that had warm beds, this was during the peak of the cold, you know, time and a grandmother that was in tears, just amazing. So when you see stories like that, you know, grandparents that can house their kids. We had another fella that had gotten off track. Part of his story was, look, I want to be a part of my kid's life, but I can't because I don't need beds in my apartment. He said so now that I have these beds, I can have my kids stay the weekend. What's amazing, and he's a big burly guy and he's in tears. He's crying in tears. He's like, Would you pray for me? And we're like, Absolutely, we'd love to, you know, just to have that level of honest connection with people and to be able to impact their lives. It's it goes beyond the kids. It really is.

Kosta Yepifantsev:

So here's the question that I want to ask you. What is it about you that makes you a successful dad? A successful former executive, a successful friend? Well makes you you. Yeah,

Trevor Larsen:

my wife calls me an anomaly. I'm not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing. So So If you could change the other day, listen, I've always had a love for people. We're strong Christians. We grew up, you know, Christian faith. And the Bible talks a lot about loving others. You know, when the disciples were asking, you know, what are the greatest commands? You know what, what's number one trying to trick Jesus. He boiled it down. He said, Look, you know, love God, love others. And I think if you can just stop it there, and then all the rest of it is, you know, religiosity you'll, you'll make a difference in the world. And I love my wife. I love my kids. I love my parents. And you know, we love the art community and we love the world around us.

Kosta Yepifantsev:

Well, listen, I wish you all the success in the world. I know this is a big problem. And the fact that you guys are trying to affect it, I think is really important. So whatever support we can give you and the Better Together community can give you we are 1,000% Behind you, because I

Trevor Larsen:

thank you so much, man, just just to be able to get the word out is huge. Network is a big deal. So man, I can't think enough for sure.

Kosta Yepifantsev:

So we always like to end the show on a high note. Who is someone that makes you better when you're together?

Trevor Larsen:

Oh boy, that's an easy one. She's sitting across from me in your studio. My wife we have been through it all. I mean, we've been together for 31 years. We got married a week before I started at Disney I mean the wrapping it all up she makes me a better person you know there's a phrase you know make me want to be a better man. She makes me want to be a better man. She inspires me to do that she's one of the hardest working people the love she poured into our kids you know has borne fruit we got four engineers you know that are all out successful and a daughter that's finding her way. And so really I have to say maybe you know is the one that helps me want to be a better man.

Morgan Franklin:

Thank you for joining us on this episode of Better Together with Kosta Yepifantsev. If you've enjoyed listening and you want to hear more, make sure you subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you find your podcasts. Leave us a review or better yet, share this episode with a friend. Better Together with Kosta Yepifantsev is a Kosta Yepifantsev Production. Today's episode was written and produced by Morgan Franklin post production mixing and editing by Mike Franklin. Want to know more about Kosta visit us at kostayepifantsev.com We're better together.