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Local 5 - weareiowa.com | Des Moines Local News & Weather | Des Moines, Iowa

Volunteers in Ames team up to build desks for kids

Volunteers with Woodworking with a Purpose, an Iowa non-profit, hope to help kids who are learning from home this semester.

AMES, Iowa — Earlier this year, Ames resident Paul LeFleur was looking for a way to help kids in his community.  So, he reached out to Nate Evans, who leads a non-profit in Ankeny called Woodworking with a Purpose.  Evans helped LeFleur build 24 desks for kids in Ames.

On Saturday, LeFleur set his sights even higher.

"I really wanted to do triple digits. I wanted to do a hundred," said LeFleur.

Together, they organized a desk building event and giveaway at Lowe's Home Improvement in Ames.

"They’re kids  They need a place to call their own. They need a place to do their work.  Work for them is school," said LeFleur.

While schools across Iowa were required this week to offer a 100% in-person learning option, many students are still 100% virtual.

"People want to put that value on education, and a lot of them didn’t have the money or resources to do that," said Evans, whose goal last year to build 200 last year now is in the thousands.

Volunteers managed to build about 140 in a matter of few hours. And by noon, a line of cars had formed in the parking lot--all with families hoping to get a desk or two for their kids.

Mook Bascomb and his son Tatum were the first in line.  Bascomb said his son is beginning to outgrow the desk he has now.. 

"He’s four going on five and getting taller…growing everyday," he said.

He also echoes volunteers when it comes to the importance for kids to have a place to call all their own.

"My mother actually had a spot for me and had a desk that she had picked up somewhere similar to this, so I did have a place in my home to call my own for my own reading and writing because she encouraged that," said Bascomb.

LeFleur got to load up Tatum's new desk in Bascomb's car and said getting to see kids' reaction makes it all worth it.

"I do it for the kids and the smiles," said LeFleur.

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