Suburban dad makes desk to help elementary students learn at home

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CRETE, Ill. — Santa’s workshop may be closed for the year but a suburban dad’s fix it shop is in full swing and churning out something special for local kids. 

Mike Hakenjos said he was bothered that kids were having a hard time learning from home.

“They were working either from their bed or on the floor or the kitchen table or counter,” he said. “And they don’t have a dedicated spot of their own.”

So he recruited a handful of his Crete Lions Club buddies to transform his garage into a full on desk making woodshop.

“We ended up making 16 to start with and they were all snatched up in two days,” he said. “So we made another batch of 14. (We have made) 30 desks to date and depending on how this goes, I may be busy for some time.” 

They saw, sand and stamp each one before parading them to the truck for one special delivery. Each homemade desk is personally handed to a Crete Elementary student who now has their own place to work at home.

“It’s been just a wonderful surprise something to look forward to and be excited about during this time”, Brandy Means, the grandmother of one of the desk recipients, said.

Because of Hakenjos and the Lions Club  e-learning just got a whole lot easier for more than two dozen Crete students.

“I just love it!” 6-year-old Kailip Lee said. “I can put my work, my boxes and all my stuff in it!”  

As for the whole e-learning thing, it just doesn’t bug Hackenjos as much anymore knowing there’s a kid out there with a real place to work, making every blister worth it for this “Fix it Dad’s” heart.

“It just makes me feel warm inside. It really does,” Hackenjos said. 

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