Man Builds, Donates Nearly 40 Desks to Kids Learning Remotely: ‘I Love What I’m Doing’

Justin Foley
Facebook/Erica Foley

A man in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, is using his talent for carpentry to help children doing their schoolwork at home.

When Justin Foley heard a few months ago that students in his neighborhood needed somewhere to sit and learn online this year, he came up with an idea, according to NJ.com.

“Just after talking with parents in the area, I know there are families that are in desperate need of desks, because right now kids are working on couches, beds. You’re sitting in an uncomfortable position for hours on end,” he told the outlet.

Foley’s own children, who are 10 and 14, are also learning remotely with the Cherry Hill School District.

The 44-year-old got to work after he found directions on how to build the desks online.

“I figured I have all of the general woodworking equipment, I have a table saw, and I kind of have the knowledge to do it,” said Foley, who works for logistics and trucking company NFI.

“It initially started as just one desk, just to kind of gauge interest. And I put it out in front of my house; I posted something on our Woodcrest neighborhood group on Facebook, and that the desk was gone in about an hour [sic],” he recalled.

In a Facebook post on October 18, Foley’s wife, Erica, shared a picture of her husband with his creations:

This guy is the best. 18 desks done and counting.

Posted by Erica Foley on Sunday, October 18, 2020

The desks were so popular that he even got requests from people living outside of town.

“I expected to make maybe two or three, and now here I am, nearly 40 desks later,” he said this week.

He also started a GoFundMe page to buy more materials. As of Sunday, the page has raised $1,965 of its $200 goal.

“I love what I’m doing here. And I think it is important, especially now in this particular environment,” he commented.

“I’ve learned that these desks are relatively simple — just a few pieces of plywood and some pine boards. It’s nothing. But it means so much to people that don’t have them,” Foley said.

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