UNK donates surplus desks, chairs to help school in India

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UNK Communications

KEARNEY-Surplus furniture from the University of Nebraska (Kearney) is restarting life in a school in India.

UNK recently donated 230 desks and about 40 chairs to Norfolk-based non-profit organization Orphan Grain Train. The company provides clothing, food, medical supplies and other assistance to people in need around the world.

These items will eventually be shipped to United International School in Bangalore, India, which provides services to families living in poverty. Despite the current remote teaching due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the school plans to reopen in May and add a new one to accommodate students in grades 11 and 12, allowing students to study from pre-kindergarten to high school.

"This school is only possible by donating these tables," said Suzie Leffers, director of public relations for Orphan Train.

Levers said that in addition to helping them receive high school education, the "new" furniture also injects pride into the students.

She said: "It was amazing when these children received the desk."

Orphan Grain Train cooperates with the United Evangelical Mission of India and the "India Transformation" organization to support United International School. Last fiscal year, the "Orphan Train" provided more than US$47 million in humanitarian aid and food to those in need. This non-profit organization serves nearly 70 countries/regions including the United States

The desks and chairs for the trip to India came from two buildings on the UNK campus-the previously remodeled Copeland Hall and Otto Olsen, which was scheduled to be demolished this spring.

Megan Telecky, UNK's facility management and planning operations manager, said: "It is much better to give these items a new life than to see them being thrown into a landfill."

The facility management department included the furniture in the online surplus auction, but buyers were not interested, so Telecky also contacted the Kearney school to find out if there is a local demand.

In order to avoid landfills, which will adversely affect the environment and waste the disposal costs of the United Nations Academy of Sciences, the facility management department contacted Orphan Grain Train, and a semi-trailer arrived on campus last week to receive donations.

Telecky said: "We are very happy to see these items find a new home that can have a positive impact on students."

In the past, UNK has donated remaining items to Orphan Grain Train, including when the non-profit organization received chairs, desks and 225 dormitory mattresses in 2018.

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