Members of Ankeny Christian Church recently partnered with Woodworkers with a Purpose to make hundreds of desks for students. The church had heard about the efforts of Ankeny resident, Nate Evans, to provide students with a dedicated work space for at-home schooling during the pandemic. The more desks Evans built, the bigger the need seemed to grow. The members of Ankeny Christian Church realized that they could help fill this need.
The effort filled a need for church members, Matt Porath and Karla Rice, as well, both of whom were struggling with the idea that they did not have an adult mission trip in the works due to the pandemic. They dove in to organizing a "mission day" for church members. The challenges of finding space to safely work together and build the desks and also figuring out the best way to distribute those built was solved by other church members, including youth member, Grace Porath. Grace, along with classmates from school, organized an advertising campaign to spread the word in Des Moines about the availability and logistics to pick up the desks.
When over 40 volunteers showed up on Saturday to build, the planning team had everything well organized with all of the parts pre-cut and assembly stations ready to go. Other members had also organized lunch for the workers. Over 150 desks were built and sanded beginning at 10 a.m. By 11:30 a.m., a long line extended out of the Principal Park parking lot with families eagerly awaiting the distribution that was to begin at noon. By 1:30, all of the desks were gone.
Local news outlets covered the story and it was even picked up by Good Morning America. Links to the news stories on the project are below. Congratulations to Ankeny Christian Church and Woodworkers with a Purpose for your amazing work!