Teacher makes thousands of desks for students

The more fortunate among us may not notice the importance of a simple desk in a young child's learning experience. However, one teacher did notice and now he's making thousands of free desks. Jamie Yuccas reports.

Video Transcript

- Finally tonight the more fortunate among us may not notice the importance of a simple desk and a young child's learning experience. But as CBS's Jamie Yuccas found, one teacher did notice. And now he's making thousands of free desks and a big difference.

JAMIE YUCCAS: When the pandemic hit and schools shut down, Iowa teacher Nate Evans noticed some at home classrooms didn't quite make the grade.

NATE EVANS: I saw kids sitting on their bed, on their mom's bed, on the floor.

JAMIE YUCCAS: One of those kids was seven-year-old Riley. After his father died in January, he went to live with his aunt Jeanie and her son Jackson. With the boys forced to learn together at the dining room table, Jeanie struggled to find an affordable option.

JAMIE YUCCAS: $80 for you is almost your entire budget in terms of a week of grocery shopping for the family.


JAMIE YUCCAS: Do we buy a desk? Or do we get groceries?

JEANIE: Yeah, exactly. Am I going to make things extra thin this week?

JAMIE YUCCAS: Evans says he was called to transform his family carpentry business into Woodworking With a Purpose.

JAMIE YUCCAS: How did you go from woodworking small arts and crafts with your daughter to providing desks to students who need them?

NATE EVANS: Well, it was one of those things where you see a need and you need to fill it.

JAMIE YUCCAS: With $300 from his own pocket, Evans picked up enough discount lumber to build 13 desks. But it didn't stop there. The count is now over 1,400. The goal, 2,020 by the end of the school year. Did you ever think that when you started this, it would grow to be this big?

NATE EVANS: I thought 13 was a lot.

JAMIE YUCCAS: Whether a dozen or a few thousand, it only takes one to make a world of difference.

JEANIE: I was just blown away. The desks are just beautifully made. They are so sturdy, which having boys is very important.

JAMIE YUCCAS: So this was really a blessing.

JEANIE: Oh, absolutely.

RILEY: Thank you.

JEANIE: We are so thankful. Thank you so much, Mr. Evans.

NATE EVANS: If this gives a family hope, absolutely. Whatever I can do.

JAMIE YUCCAS: Real lessons of hope and gratitude in a virtual world. Jamie Yuccas, CBS News, Los Angeles.

- Every little bit helps.