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Utah companies give free desks for remote learning, work

Lauren Roesbery sits in front of her new desk donated by the Utah-based firm Walker Edison at her home in West Jordan on Wednesday, March 25, 2020. Walker Edison CEO Brad Bonham said the company decided to give away desks after their own workers started working from home due to the spread of the novel coronavirus and didn’t have a home office desk.
Winston Armani, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — With classes at school canceled, students across Utah have been studying and learning from home. One thing schools have that many homes don’t have, though, is a desk for students.

Utah residents, schools and businesses have been doing what they can to help others through the novel coronavirus outbreak.

Working from home has never been the easiest thing for Lauren Roesbery.

Especially when it came to the desk she used for work in her spare bedroom.

“It was just this small little dinky little cheap desk,” she said with a laugh.

So when a surprise package arrived at her West Jordan home on Tuesday that contained a new desk, she was shocked.

“This is the best thing that, seriously, I feel like at-home workers, that everyone has to work with, can have right now,” Roesbery said.

It turned out, one of Roesbery’s friends nominated her for a new desk.

That friend saw on social media that Utah-based company Walker Edison was giving away free desks for those who could use one for a home office.

“We have to pitch in where we can and we have to help these people,” Walker Edison CEO Brad Bonham said.

The company decided to give away desks after their own workers started working from home and didn’t have a home office desk, he said.

So far, Bonham said, the company has given away almost 700 desks across the country.

“You know, I think in times like this, I think there’s more important things than making money,” said Bonham. “Our business has been richly blessed by the community around us, and we wanted to give back where we could. We love helping the community.”

It’s not just larger companies donating desks to the public.

Homewood Creations is normally a cabinet-making shop. However, when workers saw pictures of students doing homework on kitchen tables, couches and beds, they decided, why not make a simple desk for them and give it to them for free?

“We’re really just tired of feeling like we couldn’t give back, and so we put our skills and our shop into doing something,” said Brandon Jensen, who works at Homewood Creations

Homewood Creations, a cabinet shop based near the Salt Lake City International Airport, is pictured on Wednesday, March 25, 2020. Workers at the shop are also making simple desks and giving them away to those in need.
Winston Armani, Deseret News

Workers have been volunteering overtime hours after their cabinet-making duties in order to make the desks with extra wood the company has.

“They go above and beyond,” Jensen said. “It’s not just focused on building the cabinets and doing the bare minimum. We want to make a name for ourselves.”