Local business making desks for at-home students

Virginia Beach

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — With schools starting up next week, there are many students who are working at home without a desk.

So, in an effort to help, a local children’s organization has teamed up with a Virginia Beach business to make desks for students.

“We believe if students have a desk to work from, they are going to be more inclined to sit down and do their work,” said George Melnyk, Jr.

Melnyk and his wife Kim own Premier Millwork and over the last few days, the staff has been pumping out desks.

“This desks can be put together and taken down in less than two minutes,” Melnyk added.

The idea started with Trish O’Brien.

“It’s a great thing and hopefully we can get lots of kids in desks,” O’Brien said.

O’Brien runs the Children’s Health Investment Program of South Hampton Roads (CHIP). Her staff noticed some families didn’t even have a kitchen table to work on.

“To expect someone to sit on a couch with their little chrome book or on their bed is not going to be very conducive to learning,” O’Brien added.

O’Brien and the Melnyk’s have teamed up to change that. So far, they have made more than 200 desks and the goal is to do at least 500. 

Kim Melnyk is a Virginia Beach School Board Member. She knows what this means.

“For me, there is nothing better than school, and the fact that we are able to create workspaces for our students just brings me so much joy,” Melnyk said.

COVID-19 has forced families to piece learning together, but sometimes a first step is having the right piece in place.

“It’s exciting for the children of our community,” George Melnyk added.

“I am just awestruck by how many desks are being produced and what the community is willing to do for these kids,” O’Brien said. 

The Melnyk’s are really hoping the community can step up and donate money to help them continue making desks.

If you want to help, or you’re want to know how to get a desk call CHIP at 757-543-9100.

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