People making desks, donating supplies for families preparing for virtual learning

Posted at 8:55 PM, Aug 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-25 07:36:07-04

HAMPTON ROADS, Va. - With the new school year around the corner, many families are preparing for virtual learning.

The demand for supplies, including desks, is high.

People throughout Hampton Roads are rolling up their sleeves to make sure students are ready for the first day.

“Our community can only be as strong as each individual,” Virginia Beach resident Joe Reinagel said.

For Reinagel, his strength is woodworking.

“Making desks right now is my new hobby,” he said.

And he isn't stopping anytime soon.

“It makes me feel great,” he said. “Motivates me to do more.”

Joe and his wife, Carol, are members of the 757 Virtual Learning Assistance Facebook group, a virtual learning resource for families throughout Hampton Roads.

Carol Reinagel told News 3 the high demand for desks is why they went to work making and donating desks to students and teachers around the area.

“I just thought as a retired teacher could offer some input that might help somebody,” Carol said. “If that little bit is going to make them feel better and the kids be more excited about everything, we don't want kids to lose their enthusiasm for learning without going to school."

So far, the Reinagels have made at least 16 desks in the last 10 days. They have about 200 requests for desks to be made for families all throughout Hampton Roads.

Jessica Perez-McCloud, the founder of the Facebook group, said they’ve helped collect hundreds of dollars in donations and supplies for families.

“We're in the middle of a pandemic, people are growing frustrated. They just need an outlet,” Perez-McCloud said. “Just to see so much positivity in the group and the willingness to help other members - it really warms my heart.”

The Reinagels will make as many desks as possible and hope others join in to help each other out.

“You don't do it because you want people to recognize you, you do it because there's a need, and it needs to get done,” Carol said.

Perez-McCloud said anyone interested in donating to help families in the group can email For more information about the group, click here.

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