Keizer man churns out desks for distance learning

Dymond Sullivan with a desk for distance learning provided by Fernando Lopez and the Keizer Community Foundation.

When COVID-19 closed schools in 2020 students switched to distance learning. Last fall, the Keizer Community Foundation saw the need to help make at-home instruction easier, especially for those students who had no place of their own to do their studies.

Audrey Butler, president of the foundation, read a news article about Woodworking With a Purpose in several other states, which saw a need and began to make desks to donate. Butler knew this was a project that was needed for local students. 

Butler recruited Fernando Lopez, a community volunteer who serves on the board of the foundation, to help with the desk project. He more than helped, he built the desks, getting permission from Woodworking With a Purpose to use their design. So far, 25 desks have been constructed and delivered to Claggett Creek Middle School, Cummings Elementary and McNary High School. Counselors and teachers at each school made the decision on which students would receive a desk.

Though school is re-opening, Butler said kids still need a place to do homework. “We expect students will still need a designated area at home to get work done,” Butler said.

Each desk is made from 2-by-4s and plywood in an hour and half; it costs $30 to make one desk.

Donations were solicited from businesses and the community to initially fund the project. Donations are still accepted for the project and can be made at or its Facebook page.