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

Ankeny teacher using his side business to build desks for kids

Nate Evans, a Parkview Middle School teacher, also owns a woodworking company. When he heard there were kids at home without desks to learn on, he had to step in.

ANKENY, Iowa — Nate Evans' garage looks like an ordinary garage, except for the piles of lumber, and the finished products stacked up.

"I see kids that obviously don't have their own space in their house," Evans said Sunday.

Evans owns Evans Family Woodworking and teaches at Parkview Middle School in Ankeny. On Thursday, he heard there are students who don't have desks at home to learn on; something that is needed now more than ever.

"It's not easy to have two and three kids sit at one kitchen table to do their work," Josh Lundahl, a social worker for Ankeny Schools said.

"I think that makes a big deal to a kid, especially if they've never had something like that before," Evans said.

From there, Evans started his homework: a mission to build desks for any child that needs it. 

He pumped out 13 desks almost immediately, with the materials to make almost 50 more.

"We had a dozen requests before the day was over on Friday. We've had over 20 in just the last couple of days," Evans said.

It's an arrangement: Evans creates the desks, and Lundahl helps find them a home. 

It's a message of kindness Lundahl hopes will spread.

"We love to serve our community in any way we can and I hope people take that to heart. Whatever, they can do to help whether it's financially, or it's time or it's just being kind, that's what we are looking for."

Meanwhile, as we enter a divided political season, it may be a good message to remember.

"I don't think we are going to change the world with politics. I don't think we are going to change the world with laws. I think we are going to change the world by caring about each other to the point it impacts one another," Evans said. 

"Peace starts with one person at a time."

An important lesson taught not in a classroom, but in a garage in Ankeny.

If you're interested in helping, you can venmo Evans at Nate-Evans-120. All proceeds will go towards building new desks.