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Chula Vista man builds free desks for kids during distance learning

"It's not about the money"
Posted at 6:26 PM, Dec 31, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-31 21:32:50-05

CHULA VISTA, Calif. (KGTV) -- A Chula Vista man is using his skills to pay it forward this holiday season. Jerson Ramirez is an amateur woodworker donating handmade desks to children in need during distance learning.

Jerson Ramirez's two-car garage is his zen place.

"It is pure happiness," Ramirez said.

Inside, there are no cars, just materials and lots of sawdust. It is where the amateur woodworker makes his creations.

"I started getting into Facebook groups and watching Youtube every single day," Ramirez said.

It all began when he and his wife Melisa moved from Mexico to Chula Vista earlier this year. While the former finance guy was waiting for his work visa to come through, he found a new hobby.

"I was like, 'Ok. I need to spend some time doing other stuff, so it might be a good hobby,' so I figure it might work," Ramirez laughed.

His first projects were for his wife: a dining table and a patio set.

"She was happy, so I was happy about it," Ramirez said.

They posted about it on their neighborhood Facebook page. Surprisingly, he started getting requests from real paying clients.

"The response was overwhelming," Ramirez said.

Orders started coming in. A table here, a mantle there. His side-gig unexpectedly turned into a new business, primarily serving his Chula Vista neighbors.

As a thank you, he decided to give back. Ramirez heard that students were struggling with COVID-19 distance learning. Many parents were complaining that there were no desks available at big box stores. Though he has no children of his own, Ramirez decided to build desks and give them away.

"Kids touch your heart in a different way," Ramirez said.

Again, he posted about his new project on Facebook. Within days requests flooded in. Two desks turned into 47 by Christmas.

ABC 10News caught up with some of the recipients, who could not say enough about Ramirez's generosity.

Single mom, Teila Evans, says her son Lawrence was studying on the floor. But with his new desk, he can now concentrate.

"You answered my prayers, basically!" Evans said. "Thank you. Keep doing what you're doing. You're doing an awesome job!"

Angel Plandor's daughter Nora no longer needs to share a fold-up table. She now a space of her own.

"To have somebody make something for my daughter to use at school just basically filled my heart with joy," Plandor teared up."So touching, so emotional."

Ramirez better start making some more, because after he began this project, he found out that he and his wife are now expecting a baby boy.

"If he did this with kids that aren't his own, then I can't imagine what he would do for our future kids," wife Melisa said proudly.
So Ramirez will be spending a lot more time in his zen place. What began as a hobby has turned into a passion. Ramirez says his act of kindness is dedicated to his loving community.

"It's not about the money. It's about how happy you can be in life," Ramirez said. "It's about how you value things. Things as love within your community.

Ramirez says he will continue to make desks for as long as there is a need. To donate materials or money, go to their gofundme page.