Volunteers turn Orlando Sanford airport parking lot into workshop to build beds for children

Sleep in Heavenly Peace partners with airport to deliver beds

SANFORD, Fla. – Employees at Orlando Sanford International Airport took a break from work on Friday and picked up the toolbox instead.

They volunteered and transformed the hourly parking lot into a workshop to make more than 40 beds for children in need.

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“This is our hourly parking lot where guests come in and you know they’re here for a few minutes so it’s not always full and so we have lots of room and we can accommodate what we need to do and still allow them to use this lot so it worked really well,” said George Speake, vice president and COO of Orlando Sanford International Airport.

Speake said the idea to help out came after he started volunteering with the Sleep in Heavenly Peace organization, which is dedicated to building, assembling, and developing top-notch bunk beds to children and families in need.

“There’s cutting and drilling and tapping then there’s some sanding and branding and staining,” Speake said.

Bill Carleton is with the Orlando Chapter of SHP and said they have a waiting list for over 500 kids just in Central Florida and the work happens all year around.

“We love to deliver around Christmas time no matter what time of year we do it, it’s kinda like being Santa Claus, where you get to carry the bed pieces into the child’s room and sometimes, they help us put the beds together and sometimes they wait outside and come in for a big reveal,” Carleton said.

Carleton said volunteers should be delivering the new beds in the next few weeks just in time for the holidays.

To learn more about Sleep in Heavenly Peace, click here.

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About the Author:

Ezzy Castro is a multimedia journalist on News 6's morning team who has a passion for telling the stories of the people in the Central Florida community. Ezzy worked at WFOR CBS4 in South Florida and KBMT in Beaumont, Texas, where she covered Hurricane Harvey in 2017. Being from Miami, Ezzy loves Cuban coffee and croquetas!