Iowa teacher builds furniture for people in need

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When Nate Evans – a full time teacher and father of four – isn’t taking care of his family, students or customers at a local auto shop, he’s woodworking in his Iowa garage. 

It’s become almost like a full time job and it’s all for a good cause, Evans told Fox News. 

Evans has spent countless hours this summer building coffee tables and end tables out of scratch for people in a need with the help of some volunteers. 

It’s a project Evans had been conceptualizing ever since his nonprofit –  Woodworking with a Purpose, – started making homemade desks for kids to use while remote learning in the early days of the pandemic.  

Alongside donations, Evans used the money he received from his small business., Evan’s Woodworking, to fund the project. 

Iowa father, Nate Evans, making furniture for people in need with Woodworking with a Purpose.

Iowa father, Nate Evans, making furniture for people in need with Woodworking with a Purpose. (Nate Evans )

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Shortly after they started building desks, Evans shifted his attention to making small chests for foster families. His sister was a foster parent, and it helped him recognize “how kids struggle with moving in to their new place with nothing,” Evans said. 

The project was put on hold last year due to surging prices for plywood and other supplies to make the furniture, but by spring of 2022, Evans got to work once again. 

Even with higher than normal prices, Evans was determined to make coffee tables and end tables for families in a tough financial spot. 

Iowa father, Nate Evans, making furniture for people in need with Woodworking with a Purpose.

Iowa father, Nate Evans, making furniture for people in need with Woodworking with a Purpose. (Nate Evans )

“If your neighbors needed something, if you could help them somehow, that was the kind of family I grew up in,” he said. 

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After making the first four pieces, Evans posted them on Facebook alongside a simple note: “Our newest project.” 

He didn’t post anything else about the pieces or how they would be donated. 

Still, people started reaching out almost immediately about families in need who could benefit from them. 

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When Evans, who works full time at Des Moines Christian School in Urbandale and part-time at a local auto shop, spent at least nine hours a day in his garage making a couple of dozen pieces of furniture. 

However, they wouldn’t have gotten as far as they have without the generoristy of the donations. 

Iowa father, Nate Evans, making furniture for people in need with Woodworking with a Purpose.

Iowa father, Nate Evans, making furniture for people in need with Woodworking with a Purpose. (Nate Evans )

“We’ve been able to do a lot for our community just based on the goodness of others,” he said. “That’s 24 families that have furniture that they didn’t have before.”

And that’s not all. Evans said they have a list of people requesting furniture. 

The goal is to make another 100 pieces this fall.

Right now, Evans says the nonprofit is run entirely out of his garage so resources, space and even time is limited. 

One day, though, Evans’ dream is to garner up enough money to do this full time. 

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