Desks for Distance: Student Gives Back


Hannah Kennedy, Staff Writer

   Merging his skills in woodworking with a passion for his community, Woodgrove junior Colby Samide has stepped up to help students in need during distance learning. 

Online school is a difficult transition for many, and that strain is greatly increased for financially disadvantaged families. Samide’s project, Desks for Distance, aims to ease that burden by building and distributing free work tables to those who can’t afford them.

“I understand the need for a place to sit down and be focused,” Samide wrote on his project’s Facebook page. “I’ve wanted to give back to the community for a while now, and I finally know how.”

With over 84,000 students to account for in Loudoun County, 18% being on free or reduced lunch, local schools have been happy to receive help from Samide and his team. Creighton’s Corner Elementary was among the first to reach out.

“I don’t think I could really explain the feeling of relief when he said that he could make one,” resource teacher Kate Kurtzke said. “He is so generous.”

Naturally, community members were quick to take notice of Samide’s hard work. Within days of the project’s announcement, he received more cash donations than he initially knew what to do with.

“It’s an awesome response,” Samide said. “I’m planning on giving [additional funds] to local schools. Apparently, a big need is groceries, so hopefully it will help with that.”

Over 45 desks have been successfully delivered, and the numbers keep growing. Samide has ambitious plans for the future of his project, including work with outside organizations.

“Me and MOSS Building and Design will be teaming up to do a build day,” Samide said. “We are planning around 50 desks in one day. I’m looking forward to it!”

For the foreseeable future, Desks for Distance has its hands full with orders. Once those are completed, however, Samide intends to take a hiatus to focus on his education.

“I am planning on possibly doing more desks around Christmas to give away,” Samide said. “Updates to come on that.”

Having moved here from Ohio three years ago, Samide has clearly made a lasting impact on Loudoun County and its inhabitants. His compassion and driven attitude sets a shining example for future community leaders. 

“Get out there and do something to help others in need today,” Samide said. “The smallest of acts can make the biggest difference.”