Nate Evans of Ankeny, Iowa, got into teaching for one simple reason: to help kids.
So when his classes went remote at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, he was on the lookout for ways to ease the transition for children everywhere. One of the first things he noticed was how few students had a proper desk at home.
Nate teaches seventh-grade literacy. He said students in his remote classes were often slumped over in their beds or working from their family’s crowded kitchen table instead of sitting at a desk. As a woodworking hobbyist, Nate has a work shed in his garage, so he bought some materials for basic wooden desks with his own money and got to work.
“It’s for kids who have absolutely nothing, to kids who have everything they’ve wanted but don’t have this space because it wasn’t available,” Nate told GMA. “Somebody had to provide it and I thought, ‘Why not me?'”
the #1 good news email read by 500K+ people.
Once his first batch of desks was complete, Nate had no trouble giving them away. He shared his project on Facebook, and members of his community began sending him donations so he could build more desks. Soon, he had a whole team of woodworkers hammering away in his garage most weekends, so he set a goal to make 2,020 desks for the 2020-21 academic year.
Each desk costs between $20 and $25, and he offers them up to local educators on a first-come-first-serve basis. Once they’re picked up, they are distributed to kids all over his town and beyond.
Nate’s Woodworking with a Purpose program is now part of the nonprofit Core Foundation, which means any donations to the cause are tax-deductible.
Best of all, he plans to keep building desks for kids as long as they are needed.
“I became a teacher to help kids. That was it. It wasn’t for the summer breaks,” Nate said. “I volunteer wherever I can. I want to see them learn and grow, learn and grow in my classroom, I want to see them learn and grow at home too.”
This is a wonderful example of how teachers go above and beyond for their students. Nate is finding innovative ways to include his community in kids’ daily education. It really does take a village!
Share this story to spread the word about Woodworking with a Purpose.
Want to be happier in just 5 minutes a day? Sign up for Morning Smile and join over 455,000+ people who start each day with good news.