Grandfather builds desks for low income students for free

Grandfather builds desks for low income students for free

March 16, 2021 by Cathy Stack

Clayton, CA - Les Ruefenacht, an 80-year old grandfather, is taking it upon himself to help students who are still remote learning and need a proper desk. Lee is a one-man team. He is purchasing, cutting and sanding down the lumber all on his own. Once the desks are made, he then distributes them for free to underprivileged children in his community.

As students returned back to school this year, many did so slumped over in the cramped quarters of their homes. Some students were propped up on their beds, while others were spread out on their family’s dining room table.  Many families could simply not afford the added cost of a new desk.  When Lee first heard of the problem, he decided to act in order to relieve some of the stress.

Lee understood the importance of students having a desk of their own as it provides a child with a designated space which fosters independence.  A desk also helps students remain focused on their schoolwork and keeps them motivated.   

It was Lee’s wife who first encouraged him to start the woodworking project to help children during this challenging time.  “You can build anything. You need to do that,” she said.

Lee, a retiree, is now hard at work building the desks most of the week.  He estimated that he builds about 3 desks per day which total about 15 per week.  Each 36 inch desk which includes a writing surface, a lamp, 6-socket power strrip and 2 USP ports, costs approximately 65 dollars in materials to make.  Once complete he then distributes them in his own truck to the families in need, all at no cost within a 40-mile radius of his home.  

As soon as word spread, Lee was flooded with new requests for more desks.  The project has become a family team effort.  His wife answers the incoming requests and his children pitch in with fundraising on social media.  Their goal is to continue building desks for as long as there is a need. 

Lee has spent much of his free time during his retired years serving others.  He already designs and makes hundreds of wooden toys for sick children called “Buddy Dogs” which he donates to Childrens Hospitals.  The toys provide a sense of comfort to ease kids' fear and anxiety during their hospital stay and help put a smile on their faces.

PassItOn and The Foundation For A Better Life believes that Lee Ruefenacht is a true hero for using his skills, his time and his own funds to help families in crisis in his local community.  The items he builds are meant to last a lifetime and each made with care.  His action is the perfect example of service. He shows us how we can all make a difference in our own unique way. Please help us celebrate this true hero by sharing his inspiring story. 

Watch the video here:

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Grandfather builds desks for low-income students for free! #service #passiton Clayton, CA - Les Ruefenacht, an 80-year...

Posted by Foundation for A Better Life on Tuesday, March 16, 2021
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Your Comments
Mary Ellen McAnany from Philadelphia, PA MARCH 17, 2021
May your caring for others come back to you every day of your life, Grandpop Ruefenacht. How blessed your Family is to have you & how blessed all of us out here are, who are reading these stories of loving people like you & Principal Henry Darby in South Carolina. It is the example of people who share their goodness with others that show us how much love & hope there is in the world. May your caring for others come back to you & yours. Thank you sincerely. You stand with Principal Darby as true American heroes. The children both of you have shown such kindness to will carry the remembrance of your love in their hearts all of their lives.

Mark from Naranja  MARCH 17, 2021

Cynthia from Marion, ohio MARCH 17, 2021
As a former teacher, Les made me cry for joy at the lives he is changing!

Anonymous MARCH 16, 2021

Tere Garcia-Pena from New York MARCH 16, 2021
I've been receiving your quotes for about 2 weeks now and it's not only the highlight of my day but those who I forward to. I volunteer with an nonprofit called Team Rubicon (disaster response) so I'm all about giving back to those in need as well as those who have given so much of themselves. I send your quotes to some of my volunteer buddies who are Vets and they truly love and appreciate them. Thank you!

Lisa from California MARCH 16, 2021
What a beautiful heart this special man has!!! Lee, YOU are an inspiration, and may God bless you abundantly!!!

Laurel Kyles from Danville, VA MARCH 16, 2021
What wonderful human beings! Thank you so much for doing for those less fortunate ams demonstrating the kind of love needed in this beautiful world.

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