Virginia Teen ‘Hero’ Builds Free Desks For Kids

With most people working from home their living rooms, bedrooms, and even their kitchens, it is a precarious situation for young students who are finding virtual classes difficult without proper desks.

“Stores weren’t open,” Brooklyn-based parent educator Katherine Hill said. “People hesitated to buy something for a situation we all hoped would be very temporary.” She has been advocating the use of the kitchen table for young students, but also said that buying a desk eventually is “a concrete thing parents can do to feel like they’re helping their kids get ready for school.”

With people snapping up desks, there is a real shortage of desks and Colby Samide from Purcellville, Virginia, knows the feeling of an inadequate study space very well and has decided to do something about it. “It’s sad knowing there are kids that can’t afford them,” the 17-year-old said.


Colby’s desk was too small and cramped and so he built an L-shaped unit that allowed him to sprawl studiously. “I love that thing — it’s awesome,” Samide said. “My desk is a great place for me to sit down, not procrastinate and get things done. I know it’s hard to do that when you’re sitting on the floor or the kitchen table.”

Samide has the know-how to work with wood and so he built his own custom desk and is now in the mission of building simply, sturdy desks for other kids in a similar situation.

“Desks for Distance”

He has set up “Desks for Distance” on Facebook and started a fundraiser to pay for supplies, planning to use his last week of summer freedom to build desks. In just 48 hours, Samide had received $2,000 and says that it takes about 45 minutes for him to assemble each desk once the wood is cut, and the materials cost about $40 per desk. “It absolutely blew up,” he said. “People kept sharing it.”


He is so committed to his mission that while most of us chilled out during the Labor Day weekend, he was busy building 40 desks and is planning to hit 100, and has also stuck up a partnership with a local company. “Exciting news!” he posted Wednesday. “On 9/28, Me and MOSS building and design (Chantilly) will be teaming up to do a build day! We are planning around 50 desks in one day – I’m looking forward to it!”

He has gone above and beyond to help needy kids, and has got help from teachers who have pointed him to students who really needed the desks. One teacher, said of Samide, “He’s such a generous and kind kid.”


Samide is currently doing one more big build and then he will focus on his own schooling. “After this build day, I am planning on stopping to focus on my Junior year,” he continued in his post. “I am planning on possibly doing more desks around Christmas to give away. Updates to come on that.”


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