One Desk at a Time

While 2020 has been a trying year filled with periods of isolation, a group of dedicated St. John’s residents joined forces to make sure dozens of area children will start the new year with a new place to get their schoolwork done.

This volunteer initiative was highlighted by 13 WHAM’s Ginny Ryan on Christmas Day. The piece shows how a handful of residents from St. John’s Meadows and Brickstone by St. John’s worked together to identify a need in the community, pooled their talents to raise money for supplies, and constructed desks for area school children.

Recently, Abe Vigoda has come to the St. John’s Meadows workshop near his cottage each day to exercise his carpentry skills and help construct the desks, while also negotiating pricing and delivery of materials. “It feels great,” says Abe. “There’s a need for it. And there’s a demand for it. They said they will take as many as we will build.”

“Now they have something of their own – a place to go to,” says Loretta Bergen, another volunteer who was inspired by this great need in the community before connecting with Catholic Family Center’s division of Refugee and Immigrant services.  “A place to put their books and they can focus.”

The group has already built over two dozen desks, with funds raised to continue making desks throughout the winter. This special project is another great example of independent living residents creating their own opportunities for engagement with support from St. John’s Meadows volunteer services and social recreation.



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