A car dealership is not the first place that comes to mind as a source of school desks.
Yet when Tim Mort, general manager of Freeway Chevrolet in West Chandler, heard about a local man who was building free, high-quality offices for students who did not have a suitable workstation at home , Mort was pressured into doing something.
âMy kids, luckily they each have a desk in their bedroom, so they have a nice setup,â Mort said. âI know it’s not always doable for everyone. We know a lot of people who struggle with school, a workspace, a place to do homework and put away books, a place just to focus and concentrate.
âThat’s why we thought it was such a good idea. “
At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, thousands of students were forced to take virtual home classes. Not all homes are equipped or can afford to buy a desk for schoolchildren. Mort said that when he saw a video of Steve Weinberg building offices for students in need, he offered Freeway Chevrolet help.
âHe told me everything about what he was doing and why he was doing it and it was fantastic,â Mort said. âI said if you are looking for a sponsor, I think we would like to get involved in that. “
The concessionaire paid for all the building materials to build 30 offices – the equivalent of an entire classroom. With lumber prices soaring 250% over the past year, this was no small investment.
âWe’re always looking for a way to give back to the community in a positive way,â Mort said.
Weinberg said he was “always on the lookout for projects” and liked the fact that he could combine his woodworking hobby with a service.
He built 120 offices.
Brian Lockwood, a director of the Roosevelt school district, was on-site at Freeway Chevrolet on May 18 to receive donated office space.
âStudents who receive these desks will now have a space to work from home if they select our virtual learning program for next year,â Lockwood said. âIt will mean a lot to them to have a workspace other than their beds, tables or knees. “
Tiffany Hughes, chief social worker for Roosevelt School District and social worker at VH Lassen Elementary School, added that she had seen “a lot of families with multiple students in one space because that’s their only area where to work”.