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Woodworking nonprofit struggles with high lumber prices

Woodworking With a Purpose was founded in September 2020 and has built over 2,000 desks for area youth.

ANKENY, Iowa — On a lazy Sunday afternoon in Ankeny, when most families were enjoying the end of the weekend in peace & quiet, you'll find Nate Evans, hard at work in his garage.

"Two years ago this September, we began woodworking with a purpose, right here in the garage with a few friends making desks for kids in need," said Evans, the founder of Woodworking With a Purpose.

Since that day, he's kept pretty busy, making over 2,000 desks for local students. He's also branched out into making things like tables for refugees. And the work certainly isn't done yet. Evans wants to get production back into high gear, but there's a problem. It's getting a lot more expensive to keep up. As lumber prices have been on the rise, he said that for a while, lumber that originally cost him $35 went as high as $90.

"Financially it is a hardship for us to because of prices and we're completely donor driven," Evans said.

Evans would be the first person to tell you that it's not a one-man show; the nonprofit's logo was made for free by a graphic designer, and a pile of lumber in his driveway was donated by Beisser Lumber Company. It's that spirit of community that keeps him fired up to continue building. Being helped by others means that he can keep giving to anyone who could it.

"We were able to do that for them and bless them with that and give them a chance to know that somebody out there cares about them loves them and wants to do something good," Evans said.

If you'd like to help Woodworking With a Purpose, you can donate to help buy lumber and supplies here.

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